Ed McDonnough: You mean you busted out of jail.
Evelle: No, ma’am. We released ourselves on our own recognizance.
Gale: What Evelle here is trying to say is that we felt that the institution no longer had anything to offer us.
H.I.: Wake up, Son.
[aims gun at the clerk]
H.I.: I’ll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash ya got.
Ed McDonnough: [sees H.I. from the car] That son’ bitch. That son of a bitch! You son of a bitch!
H.I.: Better hurry it up, I’m in dutch with the wife.
Leonard Smalls: You want to find an outlaw, hire an outlaw. You want to find a Dunkin’ Donuts, call a cop.
Policeman: Do you have any disgruntled employees?
Nathan Arizona Sr.: Hell, they’re all disgruntled. I ain’t running no damn daisy farm. My motto is “Do it my way or watch your butt!”
Policeman: Well, do you think any of them could’ve done it?
Nathan Arizona Sr.: Oh, don’t make me laugh. Without my say-so they wouldn’t piss with their pants on fire.
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Evelle: [about the balloons he just bought] These blow up into funny shapes and all?
Grocer: Well no… unless round is funny.
Leonard Smalls: Name’s Smalls. Leonard Smalls. My friends call me Lenny… only I ain’t got no friends.
Prison Counsellor: Why do you say you feel “trapped” in a man’s body?
“Trapped” Convict: Well, sometimes I get them menstrual cramps real hard.
Evelle: H.I., you’re young and you got your health, what you want with a job?
Glen: How many Polacks it take to screw up a lightbulb?
H.I.: I don’t know, Glen. One?
Glen: Nope, it takes three.
[Glen laughs. H.I. doesn’t]
Glen: Wait a minute, I told it wrong. Here, I’m startin’ over: How come it takes three Polacks to screw up a lightbulb?
H.I.: I don’t know, Glen.
Glen: ‘Cause they’re so darn stupid!
[Glen laughs again. H.I. doesn’t]
Glen: Shit, man, loosen up! Don’t ya get it?
H.I.: No, Glen, I sure don’t.
Glen: Shit, man, think about it! I guess it’s what they call a “way homer.”
H.I.: Why’s that?
Glen: ‘Cause you only get it on the way home.
H.I.: I’m already home, Glen.
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Nathan Arizona Sr.: You want that $25,000 reward, you go ahead and claim it. What’s there to talk about?
Leonard Smalls: Price. A fair price. That’s not what you say it is, and it’s not what I say it is… It’s what the market will bear. Now there’s people – and I know ’em – who’ll pay a lot more than $25,000 for a healthy baby. Why, I myself fetched $30,000 on the black market. And that was in 1954 dollars.
H.I.: Sometimes it’s a hard world for small things.
Gale: All right, ya hayseeds, it’s a stick-up. Everybody freeze. Everybody down on the ground.
Feisty Hayseed: Well, which is it, young feller? You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? Mean to say, if’n I freeze, I can’t rightly drop. And if’n I drop, I’m a-gonna be in motion. You see…
Gale: Shut up!
Feisty Hayseed: Okay then.
Gale: Everybody down on the ground!
Evelle: Y’all can just forget that part about freezin’ now.
Gale: Better still to get down there.
Evelle: Yeah, y’all hear that, don’t ya?
[Everybody lays down. Gale looks at the now-empty teller windows]
Gale: Shit! Where’d all the tellers go?
Teller’s voices: We’re down here, sir.
Evelle: They’re on the floor as you commanded, Gale
Parole Board chairman: They’ve got a name for people like you H.I. That name is called “recidivism.”
Parole Board member: Repeat offender!
Parole Board chairman: Not a pretty name, is it H.I.?
H.I.: No, sir. That’s one bonehead name, but that ain’t me any more.
Parole Board chairman: You’re not just telling us what we want to hear?
H.I.: No, sir, no way.
Parole Board member: ‘Cause we just want to hear the truth.
H.I.: Well, then I guess I am telling you what you want to hear.
Parole Board chairman: Boy, didn’t we just tell you not to do that?
H.I.: Yes, sir.
Parole Board chairman: Okay, then.
H.I.: If it’s all the same to you, Honey, I think I’ll skip this little get together, slip out with the boys and knock back a couple of Coca Colas.
[Ed gives him a look of disapproval]
H.I.: I guess that wouldn’t be such a good idea.
Gale: So many social engagements, so little time.
[last lines] H.I.: That night I had a dream. I dreamt I was as light as the ether- a floating spirit visiting things to come. The shades and shadows of the people in my life rassled their way their way into my slumber. I dreamed that Gale and Evelle had decided to return to prison. Probably that’s just as well. I don’t mean to sound superior, and they’re a swell couple of guys, but maybe they weren’t ready yet to come out into the world. And then I dreamed on, into the future, to a Christmas morn in the Arizona home where Nathan Junior was opening a present from a kindly couple who preferred to remain unknown. I saw Glen a few years later, still having no luck getting the cops to listen to his wild tales about me and Ed. Maybe he threw in one Polack joke too many. I don’t know. And still I dreamed on, further into the future than I had ever dreamed before, watching Nathan Junior’s progress from afar, taking pride in his accomplishments as if he were our own. Wondering if he ever thought of us and hoping that maybe we’d broadened his horizons a little even if he couldn’t remember just how they got broadened. But still I hadn’t dreamt nothing about me and Ed until the end. And this was cloudier cause it was years, years away. But I saw an old couple being visited by their children, and all their grandchildren too. The old couple weren’t screwed up. And neither were their kids or their grandkids. And I don’t know. You tell me. This whole dream, was it wishful thinking? Was I just fleeing reality like I know I’m liable to do? But me and Ed, we can be good too. And it seemed real. It seemed like us and it seemed like, well, our home. If not Arizona, then a land not too far away. Where all parents are strong and wise and capable and all children are happy and beloved. I don’t know. Maybe it was Utah.
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