Sam Raimi helped to start the superhero movie trend with 2002’s Spider-Man. He set the template for origin-story movies that is still used for dozens of movies every year. The sequel, Spider-Man 2, is still considered by many to be the greatest superhero movie ever made.
The threequel, Spider-Man 3, might be maligned and controversial, but even that movie has some memorable moments. To many moviegoers, despite the fact Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland have since played the role in multiple movies of their own, Tobey Maguire is still the ultimate big-screen Peter Parker. Here are the 10 Most Memorable Quotes From Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy.
10 “For me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.”
A lot of the drama in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy is based on fate. Fate is what gave Peter Parker his powers, and he sees this as a sign that fate wants him to be a hero and make the world a better place, so he bases the whole rest of his life on that.
The way Peter sees it, he can’t just settle into a career and a healthy, steady relationship. It just isn’t on the cards anymore: “Not everyone is meant to make a difference. But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.”
9 “Hey, kiddo, let Mom and Dad talk for a minute, will ya?”
J.K. Simmons may have won his Oscar for his performance in Whiplash, but his portrayal of J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy was fantastic. That’s what made him a star – he captured the Daily Bugle editor’s mannerisms and fast-talking so perfectly.
In the first movie, right after he talks down to Peter Parker, he’s attacked by the Green Goblin. When Peter returns as Spider-Man to save him, he’s able to talk down to Jameson from behind his mask. He seals his mouth shut with a web and says, “Hey, kiddo, let Mom and Dad talk for a minute, will ya?”
8 “You know, I guess one person really can make a difference.”
As much as audiences hate Spider-Man 3, there is no arguing that it has one of the most poignant Stan Lee cameos of all time. Peter Parker is looking forlornly at a news headline in Times Square announcing Spider-Man’s latest heroic act. He’s eternally unfulfilled with his double life as Spider-Man and isn’t sure how to feel about it.
But then Stan Lee comes along, the man who created the character and brought wonder into the minds and hearts of millions of people across the world, and tells him, “You know, I guess one person really can make a difference.”
7 “Go, web! Fly! Up, up, and away, web! Shazam! Go! Go! Go, web, go! Tally ho.”
With the release of the DCEU’s latest, Shazam!, it’s been unearthed that Sam Raimi actually referenced the character 17 years earlier in his first Spider-Man movie. As Peter Parker realizes he gained superpowers from the spider bite he sustained on a school field trip, he crawls up a wall and then tries to figure out how to shoot webs out of his wrist from the rooftop.
Among the words and phrases he tries to use to activate his web-shooting ability was “Shazam!” Of course, in the movie Shazam! (and the corresponding DC Comics storylines), the titular exclamation is used by Billy Batson to activate his own superpowers.
6 “I believe there’s a hero in all of us.”
Marisa Tomei makes a fine Aunt May, but no one can beat Rosemary Harris’ delivery of this touching monologue, which indirectly convinces Peter to take back up the Spider-Man mantle:
“Too few characters out there, flying around like that, saving old girls like me. And Lord knows, kids like Henry need a hero. Courageous, self-sacrificing people. Setting examples for all of us. Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them, cheer them, scream their names. And years later, they’ll tell how they stood in the rain for hours, just to get a glimpse of the one who taught them how to hold on a second longer. I believe there’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams...”
5 “I will not die a monster!”
This quote from Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus – who still stakes a claim as the best supervillain ever depicted on-screen – is like a primitive version of The Dark Knight’s “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain.”
By the time Doc Ock realizes the error of his ways and that he’s gone mad with power, it’s too late. He’s prepping to destroy the city. As a scientist, all he wants is to be remembered for his achievements. If he dies now, he realizes, he’ll be remembered as a monster. So, he sacrifices himself to save the city from his own diabolical plan.
4 “It’s as if you’ve reached the unreachable and you weren’t ready for it.”
This is the line that Sheldon quotes to Amy in The Big Bang Theory. As Mary Jane asks Peter what he told Spider-Man about her, he just drops all the lies and speaks from the heart:
“The great thing about M.J. is, when you look in her eyes and she’s looking back in yours, everything feels...not quite normal. Because you feel stronger and weaker at the same time. You feel excited, and at the same time, terrified. The truth is...you don’t know what you feel except you know what kind of man you want to be. It’s as if you’ve reached the unreachable and you weren’t ready for it.”
3 “Where do all these guys come from?”
There sure is a lot wrong with Spider-Man 3, but it also does a lot of things right. One of them is the sly, self-aware wit that Peter has developed over three movies as a superhero.
He’s battled a crazed millionaire who dressed up as a flying goblin to terrorize people, a crazed scientist who gave himself four extra robotic limbs, and now, he’s just come across a fugitive whose DNA has been fused with sand. As he walks away from the fight, trying to get the sand out of all the nooks and crannies, he says, “Where do all these guys come from?” It’s a good question.
2 “No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, the ones I love will always be the ones who pay.”
This pretty much sums up the internal struggle that Spider-Man goes through. He doesn’t want to get too close to people, like Mary Jane or Aunt May or Harry, because he knows that in his double life as a superhero, they’ll be the ones who suffer. This goes back to the beginning, back when his eye-for-an-eye attitude got his uncle killed.
This is a powerful quote, because it feeds into the struggle that makes Spider-Man such a tragic and relatable character: he loves people, and to protect them, he has to keep his distance from them, because he loves them so much. It’s a real pickle.
1 “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Tom Holland has vowed to never utter these words in any of his movies as Spider-Man, because they were immortalized by Tobey Maguire in Sam Raimi’s trilogy. This is the phrase that Spider-Man lives by, as he hopes to bring peace and order back into the world to make up for letting his uncle get murdered.
Peter brings up Uncle Ben’s wise words in the final moments of the first movie: “Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spider-Man.”