[narrating] I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn't a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time... For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars... And yellow leaves, from the maple trees, that lined my street... Or my grandmother's hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper... And the first time I saw my cousin Tony's brand new Firebird... And Janie... And Janie... And... Carolyn. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me... but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life... You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday.

Lester Burnham

Brad: [reading Lester's job assessment] "My job consists of basically masking my contempt for the assholes in charge, and, at least once a day, retiring to the men's room so I can jerk off while I fantasize about a life that doesn't so closely resemble Hell." Well, you have absolutely no interest in saving yourself.
Lester Burnham: Brad, for 14 years I've been a whore for the advertising industry. The only way I could save myself now is if I start firebombing.

It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing and there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. And this bag was, like, dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. And that's the day I knew there was this entire life behind things, and... this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember... and I need to remember... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in.

Ricky Fitts

Angela Hayes: Jane, he's a freak!
Jane Burnham: Then so am I! And we'll always be freaks and we'll never be like other people and you'll never be a freak because you're just too... perfect!

Carolyn Burnham: Lester, you're going to spill beer on the couch.
Lester Burnham: Relax, it's just a couch!
Carolyn Burnham: This is a $4,000 sofa, upholstered in Italian silk. It is not just a couch.
Lester Burnham: [screaming] It's just a couch!

Angela Hayes: Yeah? Well, at least I'm not ugly!
Ricky Fitts: Yes, you are. And you're boring, and you're totally ordinary, and you know it.

Carolyn Burnham: Uh, whose car is that out front?
Lester Burnham: Mine. 1970 Pontiac Firebird. The car I've always wanted and now I have it. I rule!

Ricky Fitts: Excuse me for speaking so bluntly sir. But those fags make me want to puke my fucking guts out.
Colonel Frank Fitts: [pauses] Well, me too son. Me too.

Carolyn Burnham: Are you trying to look unattractive?
Jane Burnham: Yes.
Carolyn Burnham: Well, congratulations. You've succeeded admirably.

Caterer: I'm not paying you to do... whatever it is you're doing out here.
Ricky Fitts: Fine. So don't pay me.
Caterer: Excuse me?
Ricky Fitts: I quit. So you don't have to pay me. Now leave me alone.
Caterer: ...asshole.
Lester Burnham: I think you just became my personal hero!

Lester Burnham: Then I guess I'll have to throw in a sexual harassment charge.
Brad: Against who?
Lester Burnham: Against you. Can you prove that you didn't offer to save my job if I let you blow me?
Brad: Man, you are one twisted fuck.
Lester Burnham: No, Brad. I'm just an ordinary guy with nothing to lose.

Lester Burnham: Smile! You're at Mr. Smiley's.
Carolyn Burnham: [stunned] Uh, Buddy, this is my...
Lester Burnham: Her husband. We've met before, but something tells me you're going to remember me this time.

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American Beauty Quotes

Angela Hayes: Jane, he's a freak!
Jane Burnham: Then so am I! And we'll always be freaks and we'll never be like other people and you'll never be a freak because you're just too... perfect!

Brad: [reading Lester's job assessment] "My job consists of basically masking my contempt for the assholes in charge, and, at least once a day, retiring to the men's room so I can jerk off while I fantasize about a life that doesn't so closely resemble Hell." Well, you have absolutely no interest in saving yourself.
Lester Burnham: Brad, for 14 years I've been a whore for the advertising industry. The only way I could save myself now is if I start firebombing.