The Deadpool movies might be the highest-grossing films from the X-Men series, but Wolverine is by far the most popular hero from this franchise. In fact, you can consider Wolverine to be responsible for making superhero films a thing in the first place, as X-Men’s success in 2000 paved the way for the genre and Wolverine was the breakout character here.
Now that Wolverine’s time is up (at least in the current universe), it’s time to look back at the best quotes he uttered during the seventeen years we saw him onscreen. These 10 quotes prove, for various reasons, that Wolverine was always the best X-Man.
10 "Nature made me a Freak. Man made me a Weapon. And God made it last too long." - Logan
These were the words we heard in the teaser for Logan, and it made us aware that Wolverine was now at the point that we had accepted himself (falsely perhaps) as a dangerous misfit and a weapon. While we know that he was always more than that, this quote at least showed that Wolverine had accepted the dystopian nature of this new world.
Mutants were scarce and hunted in Logan, and the only way Wolverine could’ve survived was by coming to terms with the fact that the X-Men days were long gone. It was harsh and it felt unfair, but here Wolverine showed that there's a time to lament what you don't have and a time to appreciate what you still do.
9 "The pain lets you know you’re still alive." - The Wolverine
Being immortal, Wolverine didn’t know what death felt like, but he was intimately familiar with the sensation of pain. Over the years, he had experienced all kind of trauma. Whether it was physical or gut-wrenching emotional pain, Wolverine had been through it.
By this point, he hadn’t just learned to resist the pain, he’d now gained wisdom from it. In this instance, he imparted truly wise words when he relayed that pain wasn’t always a bad thing. When we’re suffering, we at least have the consolation of being alive. The dead don’t have this luxury.
8 "It's All In Your Brain." - Savage Wolverine Vol. 3
In this installment of his story, Wolverine is on the hunt for some villains who have taken children hostage. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it in time to rescue all the kids, which ignited his murderous vengeance. One of the antagonists had previously repeatedly claimed not to feel pain any more, as he’d trained himself to accept that pain manifested only through the mind.
Wolverine then went straight to the source and proceeded to kill the man by clawing away his head - then quipping that it was all in the guy's brain after all. There were no witty remarks from the antagonist this time, and he begged in vain as retribution for taking children’s lives came back to haunt him. This is a blunt, simple and endlessly badass line, just perfect for the character.
7 "Grow Those Back." - X-Men: The Last Stand
We covered the part where Wolverine delivered a badass line before starting a fight, and now we’re moving onto another crucial part of the superhero snark repertoire: a parting line when you win. In X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine came across a mutant with a very odd power.
This guy could regenerate his limbs, and all of Wolverine’s attacks were proving useless as the mutant simply grew them back. Wolverine would then kick the guy in the family jewels, which served as the winning move, and then challenged him to “grow those back.” It was a cheeky move, but it did the trick; proving to us that Wolverine knew when to improvise and use his head.
6 "I’m gonna cut your head off. See if that works." - X-Men Origins: Wolverine
There’s a fine line between family and blood, and Sabretooth crossed that line when he seemingly took the life of Wolverine’s love interest. After finding his love savaged by his brother, Wolverine finally dropped the remaining loving feelings he had for his sibling and decided to kill him.
Although it was a reckless decision to go for a fight Sabretooth was easily prepared for, at least Wolverine did fight for the honor of his love. It showed the audience that Wolverine wasn’t just all brawn and that he’d given love a chance, after denying it for over a century. In many ways, it made this mutant a human.
5 "What's A Magneto?" - X-Men
This scene was filled with hilarity galore, as Wolverine first encountered the X-Men at the mansion and proceeded to verbally tear everybody down a notch. He mocked Cyclops for wearing shades and having that pseudonym, and made fun of Storm for having white hair.
But the biggest takeaway was how he softly questioned what a Magneto was; a question that showed Wolverine wasn’t like the rest of Professor X’s crew and would have queries that Xavier would need to answer. This put the professor on the back foot for a while, and even had the other X-Men questioning Xavier’s methods.
4 "No, For You!" - X-Men: The Last Stand
The scene where Wolverine takes the life of Jean Grey is one of the most poignant moments in the X-Men film series. It completed the journey he went through in the original trilogy, seeing him finally do something completely selfless.
It killed Wolverine inside – as we saw in The Wolverine – but he knew he’d have to take the life of the woman he loved in order to save Jean herself. His final words to her revealed that, while he was saving the world at large, he was committing this act for Jean’s soul, freeing her of the Phoenix’s corrupt influence.
3 "Don't Be What They Made You." - Logan
Wolverine’s final act of acceptance in his almost 200-year life was embracing his daughter as part of the world. He’d been coy of the fact that X-23 was his biological offspring, but he went out of his way to save her and greeted death after a very long life.
He didn’t go away remarking on what he’d achieved; instead, he bowed out imparting his final words of wisdom to his daughter. She didn’t need to be the monster she was designed to be. Logan was supposed to be a monster himself, but he became a hero.
2 "Then we stand together... X-Men, all of us." - X-Men: The Last Stand
Wolverine’ arc in the original trilogy had him be reluctant to take the reins as a leader, even though he’d proven that he did have that ability. He’d always been a loner by choice, but it became apparent he did genuinely enjoy the company of people and gradually became a leader.
Here, he finally took on the role willingly when he rallied the six remaining X-Men (himself included) and claimed he would go out fighting in honor of Professor X and Cyclops. You’d never have thought Wolverine of all people would’ve been the one to raise the heroes from a state of total defeat, but it was ultimately due to him that they came away with the victory.
1 "Okay, suckers. You've taken yer best shot! Now it's my turn." - X-Men#132
The X-Men film series would never have been commissioned had this iconic quote not been uttered. Back when the Dark Phoenix Saga was brand new, the last panel of that month’s issue had Wolverine swear his revenge on the Hellfire Club, who had captured every member of the X-Men.
This shot of the ambushed Wolverine – battered, bruised, and enraged – was the turning point for the X-Men series as the following issue saw great numbers in sales from fans who wanted to see the resolution of this cliffhanger. They weren’t disappointed either, as Wolverine really did make good on “his turn” by enacting his revenge. It was the first instance where Wolverine showed himself to legitimately be one of the X-Men in spirit.