On June 20, 1975, Jaws opened in theaters and audiences collectively became scared to go in the water. The film won an extensive list of awards and has an incredible cast that features Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw. But Shaw’s character, in particular, a surly old seaman named Quint, provides some of the best lines in Jaws. Here are the best Quint Jaws quotes from the blockbuster film directed by Steven Speilberg.
USS Indianapolis & Comparing Scars
Out of all of the Quint Jaws quotes on this list, the USS Indianapolis monologue is probably the most infamous. This haunting scene explains why Quint has such a strong vendetta against sharks.
- Chief Brody: (The men are comparing their scars.) What’s that one?
- Quint: What?
- Chief Brody: That one, there, on your arm.
- Quint: Oh, uh, that’s a tattoo, I got that removed.
- Hooper: Don’t tell me, don’t tell me… “Mother.” (He roars with laughter.)
- Hooper: What is it…
- Quint: Mr. Hooper, that’s the USS Indianapolis. (Hooper immediately stops laughing.)
- Hooper: You were on the Indianapolis?
- Brody: What happened?
- Quint: Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin’ back from the island of Tinian to Leyte, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn’t see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen-footer. You know how you know that when you’re in the water, Chief? You tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn’t know… was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Heh. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin’. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. Y’know, it’s… kinda like ol’ squares in a battle like, uh, you see in a calendar, like the Battle of Waterloo, and the idea was, shark comes to the nearest man and that man, he’d start poundin’ and hollerin’ and screamin’, and sometimes the shark’d go away… sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. Y’know the thing about a shark, he’s got… lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’… until he bites ya. And those black eyes roll over white, and then… oh, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin’, the ocean turns red, and spite of all the poundin’ and the hollerin’, they all come in and they… rip you to pieces. (He pauses.) Y’know, by the end of that first dawn… lost a hundred men. I dunno how many sharks. Maybe a thousand. I dunno how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin’, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland, baseball player, boatswain’s mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up… bobbed up and down in the water just like a kinda top. Upended. Well… he’d been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and he saw us. Young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and come in low and three hours later, a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. Y’know, that was the time I was most frightened, waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a life jacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water, three hundred sixteen men come out, and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. (He pauses, smiles, and raises his mug.) Anyway… we delivered the bomb.
I’ll Catch This Bird For You
- Quint: (Quint first scratches the chalkboard to get everyone’s attention.) Y’all know me. Know how I earn a livin’. I’ll catch this bird for you, but it ain’t gonna be easy. Bad fish. Not like going down the pond chasin’ bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow you whole. Little shakin’, little tenderizin’, an’ down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that’ll bring back your tourists, put all your businesses on a payin’ basis. But it’s not gonna be pleasant. I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I’ll find him for three, but I’ll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you’ve gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don’t want no volunteers, I don’t want no mates, there’s just too many captains on this island. $10,000 for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.
Cage Goes In The Water
- Quint: (Seeing Hooper’s equipment) What are you? Some kind of half-assed astronaut?
- Quint: Jesus H Christ, when I was a boy, every little squirt wanted to be a harpooner or a sword fisherman. (Examines the shark cage) What d’ya have there, – a portable shower or a monkey cage?
- Hooper: Anti-Shark cage.
- Quint: Anti-shark cage. You go inside the cage? Cage goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark’s in the water. Our shark.
NERD NOTE: Fights between actors Robert Shaw (Quint) and Richard Dreyfuss (Hooper) were legendary among the Jaws cast and crew. Shaw and Dreyfuss hated each other and would frequently argue on set in between takes. However, this real-life drama resulted in some good acting tension between their characters on camera.
Adieu To You Fair Spanish Ladies
- Quint: (Singing) Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain. For we’ve received orders for to sail back to Boston. And so never more shall we see you again.
- Quint: (Looks at Hooper and Chief Brody) Here’s to swimmin’ with bow-legged women.
Here Lies The Body Of Mary Lee
- Quint: Here lies the body of Mary Lee; died at the age of a hundred and three. For fifteen years she kept her virginity; not a bad record for this vicinity.
A Three Ton Shark
- Hooper: That’s a twenty footer.
- Quint: Twenty-five. Three tons of him.
Wealthy College Boys
- Hooper: (Trying to get the fishing line secure.) It may be a marlin or a stingray… but it’s definitely a game fish. (Hooper pulls as the lines snaps and he crashes his head into the wall.)
- Quint: (Picking up the snapped line.) Gamin’ fish, eh? Marlin? Stingray? Bit through this piano wire? Don’t you tell me my business again! You get back on the bridge…
- Hooper: Quint, that doesn’t prove a damn thing!
- Quint: Well it proves one thing, Mr. Hooper. It proves that you wealthy college boys don’t have the education enough to admit when you’re wrong.
- Brody: What’s the point? Hooks and lines…
- Quint: Hooper! 12 minutes south south east now, full throttle!
- Hooper: (Mocking pirate voice.) Aye, aye, sir! AYE JIMBOY ARAGHHH!
- Quint: See what I do, Chief, is I trick ’em to the surface. And I jab at ’em. I’m not gonna haul ’em up like a lot of catfish.
- Quint: Hooper, full throttle!
- Hooper: (Voice imitating W. C. Fields.) I don’t have to take this abuse much longer!
Rip That Cage To Pieces
- Quint: Hooper, what exactly can you do with these things of yours?
- Hooper: Well, I think I can pump 20 cc’s of strychnine nitrate into him, if I can get close enough.
- Quint: Can you get this little needle through his skin?
- Hooper: No, I can’t do that. But if I can get him close enough to this cage, I think that I can get him in the mouth or the eye…
- Brody: That shark will rip that cage to pieces!
- Hooper: (Shouting) YOU GOT ANY BETTER SUGGESTIONS?
The Taxidermy Man
- Quint: Back home we got a taxidermy man. He gonna have a heart attack when he see what I brung him.
- Quint: You wanna drink? Drink to your leg.
- Hooper: I’ll drink to your leg.
- Quint: Okay, so we drink to our legs! (Both laugh)
This Isn’t No Boy Scout Picnic
- Quint: (Trying to hurry Brody into the boat) Come on Chief, this isn’t no boy scout picnic. See ya’ got ya’ rubbers! (Quint laughs wildly)
Don’t Screw Around With The Tanks
- Hooper: (As Brody sends the air tanks flying) Dammit, Martin! This is compressed air!
- Brody: Well, what the hell kind of a knot was that?
- Hooper: You pulled the wrong one. You screw around with these tanks, and they’re gonna blow up!
- Quint: Yeah, that’s real fine expensive gear you brought out here, Mr. Hooper. ‘Course I don’t know what that bastard shark’s gonna do with it, might eat it I suppose. Seen one eat a rockin’ chair one time. Hey chieffy, next time you just ask me which line to pull, right?
“Young girls just ain’t quite smart… like their grandmothers were!” – Quint
- Quint: Goddamn women today, they can’t handle nothin’. Young girls just ain’t quite smart… like their grandmothers were!
- Ellen Brody: Gotta be Quint.
- Brody: Colorful, isn’t he?
- Quint: (Tries to help Brody fix his messed up knot.) Little brown eel comes out of the cave… Swims into the hole… Comes out of the hole… Goes back into the cave again… It’s not too good is it Chief?
- Quint: I’m not talkin’ ’bout pleasure boatin’ or day sailin’. I’m talkin’ ’bout workin’ for a livin’. I’m talkin’ ’bout sharkin’!
Stop Playin’ With Yourself
- Quint: (Looking at Hooper sitting on the deck playing solitaire) Stop playin’ with yourself, Hooper.
“You have city hands, Mr. Hooper. You been countin’ money all your life.”
- Quint: You have city hands, Mr. Hooper. You been countin’ money all your life.
- Hooper: All right, all right! Hey, I don’t need this… I don’t need this working-class-hero crap!
Knowing Your Way Around A Boat
- Quint: Front, bow. Back, stern. If ya don’t get it right, squirt, I throw your ass out the little round window on the side.
We Haven’t Seen Anything Yet
They found the shark and are preparing to kill it. Brody and Hooper are climbing over the bow while Quint is in the cabin, taking out his harpoon gun.
- Radio Operator: (Via the boat’s radio) Amity Point Light Station to Orca. This is Amity Point Light Station to Orca. Come in, Orca.
- Quint: (Answering on the radio receiver) Orca. Come in.
- Radio Operator: I have Mrs. Martin Brody here.
- Quint: (The shark is circling around the boat) Put her on.
- Hooper: Come on, Martin! Move, move, move!
- Brody: I’m not going out there!
- Hooper: Beyond the edge of the barrels, go to the end of the barrels!
- Hooper: (Brody stops halfway) Further out!
- Quint: What?
- Hooper: (Points with his outstretched arm) Further out!
- Brody: Why?
- Hooper: Go further out!
- Brody: What for?
- Hooper: Will you go to the end of the pulpit, please?
- Hooper: What?
- Hooper: Will you please go to the end of the pulpit!
- Brody: What for?
- Hooper: (Getting his camera out) I need to have something in the foreground to give it some scale!
- Brody: (Shouts) Foreground, my ass!
- Quint: (Talks into the receiver) Your husband’s all right, Mrs. Brody, he’s fishin’, he just caught a couple of stripers, we’ll bring ’em in for dinner, we won’t be long, we haven’t seen anything yet, over and out!
Quint has just destroyed the boat radio with a baseball bat when Chief Brody is trying to call on the Coast Guard.
- Quint: (Handing the bat to Brody) Excuse me, chief.
- Brody: (Shouts hysterically.) Ah, that *GREAT*! THAT’S JUST *GREAT*! WHERE THE HELL ARE WE NOW, HUH? YOU’RE CERTIFIABLE, QUINT, YOU KNOW THAT? YOU’RE CERTIFIABLE!
- Quint: (Dismissively) Yeah, yeah, yeah…
Pump It Out Chief!
Their boat, The Orca, is sinking and already has water all over the deck. Quint hands Brody a small hand pump.
- Quint: (sarcastically) Pump it out Chief!
NERD NOTE: The scene where the Orca sinks actually happened. The boat accidentally started leaking while the actors and cameras were still onboard. A rescue boat was able to save the actors by director Steven Speilberg lost one of his cameras with a full day of critical footage. Luckily the film inside the camera was able to be salvaged.
Swallow You Whole
- Quint: This shark, swallow you whole.
Jaws Quint Death Scene
- Quint: (In shark’s mouth) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!
The Best Quint Quotes From Jaws
Quint definitely has some of the most famous Jaws quotes in the film. For lines from some of the other characters, please check out this list of the heart-pounding Jaws quotes listed in the film’s chronological order.
Being Scared For Great Whites
Also, as terrifying as a Great White Shark may appear, human attacks are actually very rare. Sometimes the shark will take an “exploratory” bite out of a human and move on once they realize that we aren’t their preferred type of prey. Fear hunting and accidental fishing net captures have drastically reduced Great White Shark populations in the Pacific Ocean. As scary as sharks might appear to be, our oceans actually need sharks to stay healthy.