Shrek is one of the most iconic characters in the history of animated movies. In fact, he’s easily one of the most iconic characters in the history of cinema, period. Mike Myers took the lead character in a satire of fairy tales that was, at the time, considered to be risky, and turned him into a deep, engaging, and lovable guy.
Shrek subverts the clichés of the fantasy genre by being an ogre who ultimately becomes heroic when he’s given a chance to save a beautiful princess – who also turns out to be an ogre (that’s another subversion). Here are Shrek’s 10 Funniest Quotes.
10 “Ogres are like onions.”
At first, Donkey doesn’t understand this analogy. When Shrek first tells Donkey that ogres are like onions, Donkey thinks he means they stink. Then, he thinks he means they make people cry. In a sense, he’s right about both of them – but they’re also stereotypes of ogres. Then, Donkey thinks he means ogres go brown if they’re left out in the sunlight.
He’s getting further and further away from the point, so Shrek explains it to him. What Shrek is really getting at is that, like onions, ogres have layers. They’re complex individuals, as Donkey would later find out as he saw Shrek fall in love and learn to appreciate having close friends like him around.
9 “There’s a stack of freshly made waffles in the middle of the forest! Don’t you find that a wee bit suspicious?”
The Shrek movies are pretty meta in their references to fairy tale tropes. For example, in Shrek Forever After, as the title character and Donkey are out in the woods and see a beautiful stack of waffles, Donkey is excited, but Shrek can see that it’s obviously some kind of ploy.
In an old Hans Christian Andersen story, the characters would blindly fall for a trick like this, but Shrek points out how absurd and on-the-nose this trick is. Still, Donkey’s dumb enough to fall for it – and he established his love of waffles as far back as the first movie.
8 “Look at him in his wee li’l boots! Y’know, how many cats can wear boots? Honestly?”
Antonio Banderas’ Zorro-like portrayal of the old folklore character Puss in Boots quickly became just as beloved as anyone from the first movie when he joined Shrek and Donkey in Shrek 2. His technique of looking adorable with gigantic eyes to get his opponents to drop their guard before launching an attack on them is fool-proof.
It worked on Shrek and Donkey when they first encountered him in the woods, and it would later work with a few other people later on in the franchise. He proved to be so popular that he got his own spin-off movie in 2011.
7 “It’s time to pack up your toothbrush and jammies. You’re the new king of Far Far Away.”
Following in the traditions of the fairy tales that inspired them, the Shrek movies usually revolve around Shrek and Donkey going on some kind of quest. In Shrek the Third, that quest is to find the heir to Fiona’s father’s throne after he passes away.
The kid’s name is Arthur – or “Artie,” as he’s referred to in the movie – and he’s played by Justin Timberlake. When Shrek arrives at Artie’s school to take him back to Far Far Away to claim his throne, the other students assume he’s there to eat him, and then they’re actually disappointed that he’s not.
6 “What are you doing in my swamp!?”
This one is mainly memorable because it became a widely circulated meme, but Mike Myers’ delivery of the line is just as memorable. Shrek didn’t even want Donkey staying in his swamp, and he discovers in the middle of the night that Lord Farquaad has sent every fantasy creature in his entire realm to live on Shrek’s swamp.
This guy just wanted to be left alone, and now, he was being forced to share his sanctuary with dozens of other people. And not only that, they wanted to actually live inside his house. So, he decided to do something about it.
5 “I’m an ogre! You know, ‘Grab your torch and pitchforks!’ Doesn’t that bother you?”
What ties Shrek to Pixar’s similarly groundbreaking computer animated movie Toy Story is that they both revolve around an iconic duo who, initially, don’t get along, but later, after going on an incredible adventure together, become the best of friends. In Toy Story, that duo is Woody and Buzz. In Shrek, it’s Shrek and Donkey.
Film buffs would be hard-pressed to choose which one was the better pair. They do have slightly different relationships. While Buzz was just as apprehensive about Woody as he was about Buzz, Donkey was instantly accepting of Shrek, even if Shrek was reluctant to open up to him.
4 “Someday, I will repay you. Unless, of course, I can’t find you or if I forget.”
This hilarious line appears in Shrek 2 as the titular ogre is on his way to save Fiona from being tricked into marrying Prince Charming. As a part of his gallant plan to rescue her, he has to steal some clothes from a couple of guys. But he does promise to pay them back for the clothes, unless he’s unable to find them or he forgets he owes them clothes.
The joke, of course, is that it’s highly likely that both of these things will happen. With all the commotion of the movie’s climax, he’ll probably forget about these guys, and he didn’t take their names or any other information, so even if he remembers, it’ll be impossible to track them down.
3 “It’s on my to-do list!”
In the first Shrek movie, the title character is not what Fiona is expected when she’s awoken in the castle guarded by the dragon. She’s expecting a handsome prince to come and kiss her, and instead, she gets an ogre who shakes her violently to jolt her awake.
When she comes out of her slumber and gets to know the situation, she realizes that Shrek hasn’t actually slain the dragon before saving her, like he was supposed to. However, he does assure her that it’s on his to-do list. It’s a good thing he didn’t slay the dragon, because that dragon would later become Donkey’s wife and the mother of his children.
2 “A cute, button nose? Thick, wavy locks? Taut, round buttocks?”
The big twist in Shrek was that halfway through the movie, Fiona was revealed to have been cursed by a witch to be an ogre unless she received true love’s kiss. So, it made sense to flip that twist in the sequel and have Shrek drink a potion that turns him into a handsome human.
As he wakes up in a barn and discovers his human features – and that Donkey is now a majestic white stallion – he lists off everything that’s attractive about his new body. As an ogre, he had a pug nose, a bald head, and a plump behind, so he was surprised to find that he had an adorable nose, a thick head of hair, and a tight rear end.
1 “You’re going the right way for a smacked bottom.”
Mike Myers took Shrek’s Scottish accent from the voice his mother used to use when she read him fairy tales as a kid. Isn’t that adorable? He recorded his lines for the first movie with a few different accents – mostly from different regions of Canada – and they just couldn’t find a voice that fit.
It actually cost the studio millions of dollars to keep reanimating the movie to suit the new voice recordings. In the end, he found the accent that suited the character: Scottish. It’s fair to say, years later as the character is still an icon, that it was totally worth it.