The heartfelt narratives woven through the Shrek canon have affected millions, and continue to enrich new generations. Here are our all-time favourite Shrek quotes.
Shrek hit screens back in 2001, but, it ain’t ogre ’til its ogre. The fabled tale remains a go-to movie-night-pick. Why? Because Shrek has it all. An underdog protagonist. Endless gags. An original story. 4th wall breaks. A compelling ensemble. Dance numbers. A banging soundtrack. Imaginative animation. The best sequel of all time. I could go on. Shrek has L-A-Y-E-R-S, dude.
Best of all, Shrek gives a fat middle finger to Disney. More specifically, all the bullshit fairytales they feed impressionable audiences, year in, year out. As Tyler Durden said, “We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t”. Shrek doesn’t promise any of that shit. Instead, it gives us an ugly loner in a swamp, then spins it into one of the best goddamn stories of the 21st Century. In celebration of this unexpected artistic bullseye, we’re listing our favourite quotes throughout the beloved franchise. The good, the bad, and the ogre.
Shrek 1 – (2001)
“This is the part where you run away” – Shrek
Haven’t we all wanted to say something like this before? Mike Myers’ whispered delivery is spot-on, and 4th-wall-break makes a lot of sense too, considering Shrek is an anti-fairytale.
“I like that boulder. That’s a nice boulder” – Donkey
Playful whimsy. It’s still tempting to quote this every time I come across a big ol’ rock.
“Wow. Only a true friend would be that truly honest” – Donkey
When Shrek tells Donkey why he has no friends, does he put his tail between his legs and walk away? Nope. He finds the silver lining. And that’s why we love him.
“Although she lives with seven other men, she’s not easy” – Magic Mirror
A very naughty line to sneak into a kid’s movie. Also, it’s a fair dig at the ridiculousness of the Snow White narrative. To quote Peter Dinklage, that movie is “fucking backwards”.
“Do you think he’s maybe compensating for something?” – Shrek
The adult-exclusive joke to end all adult-exclusive jokes. I remember being confused by this zinger as a kid. Now, it’s a top 3 moment in the film.
when shrek and donkey go to lord farquaad’s castle and they pan to show it shrek says “do you think maybe he’s compensating for something?” AND I JUST REALIZED NOW pic.twitter.com/uXOue9AKSG
— Jackie Mydosh (@jacxkieexx) November 5, 2019
“This’ll be fun. We’ll stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning… I’m making waffles” – Donkey
You read this in Eddie Murphy’s Donkey voice, didn’t you? I did too. It’s iconic like that.
“Ogres are like onions” – Shrek
A simple simile, but a memorable one. Even in a children’s comedy, there’s always a reason to explore the human condition a little. Layer by layer.
“Some of you may die, but its a sacrifice I’m willing to make” – Lord Farquaad
This line echoes the way The Simpsons portrayed Mr Burns. That is, what’s the most morally myopic thing he could possibly say at this moment? Obviously, they smashed it.
“Huh, celebrity marriages. They never last, do they?” – Donkey
It was true back then. And it’s true now. Brangelina, Chavril. Kimye… We’ll leave it there, but you know there are hundreds.
“That’ll do Donkey, that’ll do” – Shrek
This sentiment of this line evolves from ‘fuck off, Donkey’, to ‘I’ve got your best interests in mind’. Once again, Mike Myers’ delivery works wonders.
“Only shooting stars break the mould”
An unbelievably evocative lyric from Star Mouth’s cultural phenomenon, All-Star. I know it’s not technically a line, but how can we talk about Shrek and not mention the soundtrack? All memes aside, All-Star is an astounding anti-celebrity/media/war/government anthem, and the lyrical themes perfectly align with Shrek’s narrative.
Shrek 2 (2004)
“Donkey, you have the right to remain silent. What you lack is the capacity” – Shrek
Crafty burn, Shrek. Donkey has been talking his ear off without fail for two movies now, so the line has all the momentum required to hit like a truck.
“Thank you, gentlemen. Someday, I will repay you. Unless, of course, I can’t find you or I forget” – Shrek
Just fucking hilarious. The blatant honesty sounds like something Phoebe from Friends would say. Clearly, Shrek’s got gall.
I’m sorry, the position of annoying talking animal has already been taken” – Donkey
You heard the Donkey. Both Shrek 1 and 2 break the 4th wall sparingly, making it a treat every time it crops up. Less is more.
“It’s gonna be champagne wishes and caviar dreams from now on” – Donkey
An eloquent take on the supposedly-glitzy high life. Oh wait, it’s a nod to Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Of course, this motley crew won’t get to indulge in any such fantasies.
“Oh, Shrek. Don’t worry, things just seem bad because it’s dark and rainy and Fiona’s father hired a sleazy hitman to whack you. It’ll be better in the morning. You’ll see.” – Donkey
Well, when you put it like that… Right? No? Okay…
“Are you kiddin’? He’s gorgeous! His face looks like it was carved by angels”. – The Ugly Stepsister
This line is such a curveball. Such unreservedly high praise from a minor character. Also a clever nod to Michael Angelo for the older audience.
“No problema, boss – in one of my nine cat lives I was the great cat burglar Santiago de Compostela!” – Puss in Boots
The origins of Puss in Boots are laden with mystery, and that’s how I like it. Just drop us little nuggets like these and let our imaginations run wild.
Puss in Boots竟然要出續集了，距離上一集已經10年了，沒想到竟然有第三集🥺 pic.twitter.com/t6p4jrEoeW
— たけのこ里がすき (@MaguroSL_94) March 20, 2022
Shrek 3 (2007)
“Well my stomach aches and my palms just got sweaty, must be a high school” – Shrek
This Eminem-Esque quip will hit home for literally anyone who wasn’t a jock or a cheerleader. Though, the thought of Shrek attending a high school is utterly far-fetched.
“After a while, you learn to ignore the names people call you and just trust who you are” – Shrek
Shrek 3 was by and large a disappointment. But the campfire scene Shrek and Artie share contains some of the most character-driven, emotional dialogue in the series. Daddy issues, man.
“Allow me to explain. When a man falls in love with a woman, he is overcome with powerful urges…” – Puss in Boots
Hand it to Puss in Boots to attempt to comprehend the larger-than-life inner-workings of male infatuation. What a minefield. Good luck, buddy.
“Fiona, try to be reasonable. Have you seen a baby lately? All they do is eat and poop, and then they cry, and they cry when they poop, and poop when they cry. Now imagine an *ogre* baby. They extra cry, and they extra poop” – Shrek
The repetitive rhythm of this line is entertaining as hell, but Shrek’s failure to see the bigger picture makes one thing adamantly clear: Fiona is not the unreasonable one here.
“Listen Artie, eh, if you think this whole mad scene ain’t dope, I feel you dude. I mean, I’m not trying to get all up in your grill, raise your roof or whatever”.
Oh, dear. The writers really hit the nail on the head of that Gen X vs. Gen Y divide here. Some jargon is generation-exclusive. Clearly.
“Somebody help! I’ve been kidnapped by a monster who’s trying to relate to me!” – Artie
A salient (and amusing) snapshot of a teenager facing an identity crisis. When you’re in that angsty phase, there’s nothing more excruciating than an elder trying to level with you. Of course, with age, comes clarity, and soon, Artie will understand that his experiences have been shared by millions.
“It wouldn’t be inaccurate to assume that I couldn’t exactly not say that it is or isn’t almost partially incorrect” – Pinocchio
Pinocchio trying to weasel his way out of his nose growing (lie detector) will never not be funny. I spent a good 3 minutes trying to understand the resolve of this sentence. I remain stumped.
Shrek Forever After (2010)
“After mimes, magicians are my favourite people” – Shrek
You don’t need context to know this is deliciously sarcastic. This line would be funny coming from anyone, but Shrek’s low tolerance for bullshit makes this a home run.
“Fiona, I know everything about you, I know you sing so beautifully that birds explode. I know that when you sign your name, you put a heart over the i. I know that when you see a shooting star you cross your fingers on both hands, squinch up your nose, and you make a wish, I know that you don’t like the covers wrapped around your feet, and I know that you sleep by candlelight because every time you close your eyes, you’re afraid you’re going to wake up back in that tower, But most importantly Fiona, I know that the reason that you turn human every day is because you’ve never been kissed, well, by me” – Shrek
One of Shrek’s most emotionally poignant moments. Listing cute observations of your lover is cliched, but how can you not love it? Especially when it comes from Shrek, who had the most character development out of anyone over the course of the four films.
“You know what the best part of today was? I got the chance to fall in love with you all over again” – Shrek
This is some silky smooth material. Take notes, aspiring romantics.
“Man, you are a cat-tastrophe” – Donkey to Puss. “And you, are ri-donk-ulous” – Puss to Donkey.
I mean, as far as puns go, this is a perfect balance of witty and groan-to-yourself.
“Are my kids cute or do they make people uncomfortable?” – Donkey
A great question, Donkey. I mean they are dragon/donkey babies. There’s going to be some level of shock factor.
“Hey! I may have let myself go a little since my retirement, but hanging up my sword was the best decision of my life. I have all the cream I can drink and all the mice I can chase” – Puss in Boots.
Good for you, Puss in Boots. Eat, drink, and be merry.