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The Top 5 Katharine Hepburn Lines to Use in Real Life

Bringing Up Baby - Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn as Susan and Cary Grant as David in “Bringing Up Baby.”
Photo: RKO Pictures

Katharine Hepburn was an iconic movie star, winning four Academy Awards, her career spanning decades in Hollywood. She had charisma and was extremely unique; unlike any other actor of her generation. She delivered memorable lines (which also speaks to the excellent writers who penned these lines for her!) in her many roles. Here are just a handful of Katherine Hepburn’s best one-liners, and though classic, they’re applicable to a twenty-first-century audience!

Top 5 Katharine Hepburn Lines to Use in Real Life 

#1: “Put me in your pocket, Mike.” – The Philadelphia Story (1940)

The Philadelphia Story - Katharine Hepburn
The Philadelphia Story
Photo: MGM

Certainly, you’ve heard of the Pokémon Go craze that is sweeping the nation. When you’re at your local bodega or park and trying to capture that elusive Dragonair and you bump into another fellow player who tickles your fancy, try this line, and see if you can catch ‘em all as a team!

#2: “I know. But it’s all right. I brought a note from my mother.” – Desk Set (1957)

Katharine as Bunny Watson and Spencer Tracy as Richard Summer Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox
Katharine Hepburn as Bunny Watson and Spencer Tracy as Richard Summer
Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

We’ve all been there — your alarm goes off, you just can’t quite bring yourself to get out bed on time, and after pulling the zipper off the track on your clothes, dropping your breakfast on yourself, and missing your train, boom, you’re late for work. If your coworkers give their opinion on your tardiness, pull out this zinger, and see if they can keep up!

lion in winter#3: “He had a mind like Aristotle and a form like mortal sin.” – The Lion in Winter (1968)

You’ve arrived home after a great first date. You’re jazzed about the prospects of a new beginning with someone, and your friend asks you how the date went. Use this doozy of a line to describe your date, and all your friends will want more details!

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On the other hand, if you need an excuse to escape a bad date, spout off, “I could peel you like a pear, and God himself would call it justice,” from the same film and get away with style!

Katharine as Eleanor of Aquitaine: Photo Credit: MGM

holiday poster Katharine Hepburn

#4: “You see Case, the trouble with me is that I never could decide whether I wanted to be Joan of Arc, Florence Nightingale, or John L. Lewis.” – Holiday

There tends to be a pattern of questions that people ask each other when they first meet. Questions such as where you’re from, what you do for work, and if you have any siblings, et cetera. People sometimes will also ask what you wanted to be when you grew up. Rattle off this line to shake up the conversation, and you’ll really get the talking going!

Alternatively, try “I was born on the side of a hill,” from Bringing Up Baby (1938) if you’re asked where you’re from, and see what response that answer merits!

Hepburn and Cary Grant
Katharine as Susan and Cary as David
Photo: RKO

#5: “I’m not afraid! I’m not afraid of being a morning glory!” – Morning Glory (1933)

Morning Glory
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. as Joseph Sheridan and Katharine Hepburn as Eva Lovelace
Photo Credit: MGM

You should definitely say this to yourself in the mirror every morning to get yourself motivated for the day ahead!

This line is also useful in situations such as commenting on a group photo gone wrong where you’re blinking and/or looking in the other direction so as to seem nonchalant about the whole thing or when your grandmother asks you for the hundredth time why you’re not seeing anyone.

Looking forward to trying any of these lines out, and harnessing some of Katharine’ moxie? What are some of your favorite Katharine Hepburn films? Comment below and tell us all about it!

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By on July 25th, 2016

About Clarissa Hadge

I'm a native Californian, but a transplant to Boston. Having amassed a BA in English lit and History from the University of Redlands, and an MA in English lit and an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College, I figure I have enough degrees for the time being. YA is my passion, and I love to both read and write it, especially science fiction and fantasy, enjoying it in all forms — television, film, and comics included. A big fan of female protagonists, my favorites include Alanna, Tank Girl, Meg Murry, Turanga Leela, Zoë Washburne, and on the non-sci-fi/fantasy side, Harriet M. Welsch and Jo March. As a bookstore manager at an indie store in Boston, I'm gleefully surrounded by books all the time. I'm also a woolly mammoth enthusiast.

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