One of the best courtroom dramas ever made is the 1992 Rob Reiner movie, A Few Good Men. The film stars Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak, and Christopher Guest. Not only does A Few Good Men have an incredible cast, but Aaron Sorkin‘s script earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Screenplay, and for good reason. There are so many great quotes from A Few Good Men that it’s hard to pick just a few. Keep reading for our collection of the best A Few Good Men quotes.
A Few Good Men Cast
In case you haven’t watched A Few Good Men lately, here’s a list of the main cast and their character names. It will make reading these quotes easier to follow.
- Tom Cruise … Lt. Daniel Kaffee
- Jack Nicholson … Col. Nathan R. Jessep
- Demi Moore … Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway
- Kevin Bacon … Capt. Jack Ross
- Kiefer Sutherland … 2nd. Lt. Jonathan Kendrick
- Kevin Pollak … Lt. Sam Weinberg
- James Marshall … Pfc. Louden Downey
- J.T. Walsh … Lt. Col. Matthew Andrew Markinson
- Christopher Guest … Dr. Stone
- J.A. Preston … Judge Julius Alexander Randolph
- Matt Craven … Lt. Dave Spradling
- Wolfgang Bodison … Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson
- Xander Berkeley … Capt. Whitaker
- John M. Jackson … Capt. West
- Noah Wyle … Cpl. Jeffrey Barnes
- Cuba Gooding Jr. … Cpl. Carl Hammaker
“You can’t handle the truth!”
- Lieutenant J.G. Daniel Kaffe: I want the truth!
- Col. Nathan R. Jessep: You can’t handle the truth!
“We follow orders or people die. It’s that simple.”
- Col. Jessup: Have you ever spent time in an infantry unit, son?
- Kaffee: No, sir.
- Col. Jessup: Ever served in a forward area?
- Kaffee: No, sir.
- Col. Jessup: Ever put your life in another man’s hands, ask him to put his life in yours?
- Kaffee: No, sir.
- Col. Jessup: We follow orders, son. We follow orders or people die. It’s that simple. Are we clear?
- Kaffee: Yes, sir.
- Col. Jessup: (slower and louder) Are we clear?
- Kaffee: Crystal.
“You gotta ask me nicely.”
- Col. Jessup: (After Danny casually and disrespectfully requests Santiago’s transfer order during lunch in Cuba) You see Danny, I can deal with the bullets, and the bombs, and the blood. I don’t want money, and I don’t want medals. What I do want is for you to stand there in that f@ggoty white uniform and with your Harvard mouth extend me some f**king courtesy. You gotta ask me nicely.
“Should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid!”
- Lieutenant Commander Galloway: (Refering to Jessup) You put him on the stand and you get it from him!
- Kaffee: (Sarcastically, referring to Jessup in his apartment) Oh, we get it from him! Yes! No problem! We get it from him. (Turns to Sam as if he were Jessup on the stand)
- Kaffee: Colonel Jessup, isn’t it true that you ordered the Code Red on Santiago?
- Lt. Weinberg: Listen, we’re all a little…
- Kaffee: (Interrupts with game-show buzzer sound) Eeehhhhh! I’m sorry, your time’s run out! What do we have for the losers, judge? Well, for our defendants, it’s a lifetime at exotic Fort Leavenworth! And, for defense counsel Kaffee, that’s right, it’s a court-martial! Yes, Johnny! After falsely accusing a highly decorated Marine Corps officer of conspiracy and perjury, Lieutenant Kaffee will have a long and prosperous career teaching… typewriter maintenance at the Rocco Globbo School for Women! Thank you for playing “Should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid!”
“I like all you Navy boys. Every time we’ve gotta go someplace to fight, you fellas always give us a ride.”
- Kaffee: (In Santiago’s room) Lt. Kendrick… can I call you John?
- Lieutenant Kendrick: No, you may not.
- Kaffee: Have I done something to offend you?
- Lieutenant Kendrick: No, I like all you Navy boys. Every time we’ve gotta go someplace to fight, you fellas always give us a ride.
“Excuse me. I didn’t dismiss you.”
- Kaffee: (Kaffee has just asked why Santiago hadn’t packed despite being due to be transferred in a few hours after the time of his Santiago‘s death. Jessup smirks) Is this funny, sir?
- Col. Jessup: No, it isn’t. It’s tragic.
- Kaffee: Do you have an answer to the question, Colonel?
- Col. Jessup: Absolutely. My answer is I don’t have the first damn clue. Maybe he was an early riser and liked to pack in the morning. And maybe he didn’t have any friends. I’m an educated man, but I’m afraid I can’t speak intelligently about the travel habits of William Santiago. What I do know is that he was set to leave the base at 0600. Now, are these really the questions I was called here to answer? Phone calls and foot lockers? Please tell me that you have something more, Lieutenant. These two Marines are on trial for their lives. Please tell me their lawyer hasn’t pinned their hopes to a phone bill.
- (Kaffee hesitates, dumbfounded)
- Col. Jessup: Do you have any more questions for me, Counselor?
- Judge Randolph: Lt. Kaffee?
- Judge Randolph: Lieutenant, do you have anything further for this witness?
- Col. Jessup: (Standing to leave) Thanks, Danny. I love Washington.
- Kaffee: Excuse me. I didn’t dismiss you.
- Col. Jessup: I beg your pardon?
- Kaffee: I’m not through with my examination. Sit down.
- Col. Jessup: Colonel!
- Kaffee: What’s that?
- Col. Jessup: I would appreciate it if you would address me as “Colonel” or “Sir.” I believe I’ve earned it.
- Judge Randolph: Defense counsel will address the witness as “Colonel” or “Sir.”
- Col. Jessup: I don’t know what the hell kind of unit you’re running here.
- Col. Jessup: And the witness will address this court as “Judge” or “Your Honor.” I’m quite certain I’ve earned it. Take your seat, Colonel.
“I just followed the crowd at chow time, sir.”
- Capt. Ross: Corporal Barnes, I hold here the Marine Outline for Recruit Training. You’re familiar with this book?
- Cpl. Barnes: Yes, sir.
- Capt. Ross: Have you read it?
- Cpl. Barnes: Yes, sir.
- Capt. Ross: (hands him the book) Good. Would you turn to the chapter that deals with code reds, please?
- Cpl. Barnes: (confused) Sir?
- Capt. Ross: Just flip to the page of the book that discusses code reds.
- Cpl. Barnes: Well, well, you see, sir code red is a term that we use. I mean, just down at Gitmo. I don’t know if it’s actually…
- Capt. Ross: Ah, we’re in luck then. Standard Operating Procedures, Rifle Security Company, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Now, I assume we’ll find the term code red and its definition in that book. Am I correct?
- Cpl. Barnes: No, sir.
- Capt. Ross: No? Corporal Barnes, I’m a Marine. Is there no book, no manual or pamphlet, no set of orders or regulations that lets me know that, as a Marine, one of my duties is to perform code reds?
- Cpl. Barnes: No, sir. No book, sir.
- Capt. Ross: No further questions.
- (As Ross walks back to his table Kaffee takes the book out of his hand)
- Kaffee: Corporal, would you turn to the page in this book that says where the mess hall is, please?
- Cpl. Barnes: Well, Lt. Kaffee, that’s not in the book, sir.
- Kaffee: You mean to say in all your time at Gitmo, you’ve never had a meal?
- Cpl. Barnes: No, sir. Three squares a day, sir.
- Kaffee: I don’t understand. How did you know where the mess hall was if it’s not in this book?
- Cpl. Barnes: Well, I guess I just followed the crowd at chow time, sir.
- Kaffee: No more questions.
“I’d like you to leave the room, so we can talk about you behind your back.”
- Capt. West: (In West’s office) Commander Galloway, why don’t you get yourself a cup of coffee.
- Lieutenant Commander Galloway: Thank you, sir, I’m fine.
- Capt. West: (Irritated because she didn’t understand his intention) Commander, I’d like you to leave the room, so we can talk about you behind your back.
- Lieutenant Commander Galloway: Certainly, sir.
[Tweet “A Few Good Men Quotes: “I’d like you to leave the room, so we can talk about you behind your back… Certainly, sir.” — #AFewGoodMen]
“I eat breakfast 300 yards from 4000 Cubans who are trained to kill me.”
- Col. Nathan R. Jessep: I run my unit how I run my unit. You want to investigate me, roll the dice, and take your chances. I eat breakfast 300 yards from 4000 Cubans who are trained to kill me, so don’t think for one second that you can come down here, flash a badge, and make me nervous.
“I get a set of steak knives.”
- (Lt. Weinberg introduces Lt. Daniel Kaffee to Cmdr. Galloway for the first time)
- Lt. Weinberg: Cmdr. Galloway, Lt. Kaffee is considered to be the best litigator in our office. He successfully plea-bargained 44 cases in 9 months.
- Kaffee: One more and I get a set of steak knives.
“I disagree only inasmuch as I disagree that a paraplegic is entitled to foxtrot. It’d be nice, it just ain’t possible.”
- Lieutenant J.G. Daniel Kaffe: Do you disagree?
- Col. Nathan R. Jessep: Certainly not in principle. I disagree only inasmuch as I disagree that a paraplegic is entitled to foxtrot. It’d be nice, it just ain’t possible.
“I’m gonna rip the eyes out of your head and p*ss into your dead skull!”
- Col. Jessup: (Judge dismisses the jury after Jessep’s revelation on the stand about the Code Red) What is this? What’s going on? I did my job, I’d do it again!
- (Stands up defiantly)
- Col. Jessup: I’m gonna get on a plane and go on back to my base.
- Judge Randolph: You’re not going anywhere, Colonel. MP’s… guard the Colonel!
- (MPs surround the Colonel)
- Judge Randolph: Captain Ross?
- Col. Jessup: What the hell is this?
- Capt. Ross: Colonel Jessup, you have the right to remain silent. Any statement you make…
- Col. Jessup: I’m being charged with a crime? Is that what this is? I’m being charged with a crime? This is funny. That’s what this is. This is…
- (Turning to Kaffee and lunging at him)
- Col. Jessup: … I’m gonna rip the eyes out of your head and p*ss into your dead skull! You f**ked with the wrong Marine!
- Capt. Ross: Colonel Jessup! Do you understand these rights as I have just read them to you?
- Col. Jessup: (Contemptuously) You fuckin’ people… you have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today, Kaffee. That’s all you did. You put people’s lives in danger. Sweet dreams, son.
- Kaffee: Don’t call me son. I’m a lawyer and an officer in the United States Navy, and you’re under arrest you son of a b*tch.
- (Glares at Jessup)
- Kaffee: The witness is excused.
A Few Good Men Quotes
A Few Good Men is an iconic masterpiece of American cinema and will continue to enthrall audiences for years to come. Now that you know the best quotes from A Few Good Men, we recommend that you watch or rewatch the film.
What did you think of our list of memorable quotes from A Few Good Men? If we left out any of your favorite A Few Good Men quotes, then please let us know in the comments. We will add it to this article and give you credit. Thanks for reading and be sure to check out some of our other movie quotes articles.
Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.