The year is 2017. The global economy has collapsed and the United States is now a Police state. All forms of entertainment, especially television, are under government control. And the most popular TV program is a game show called The Running Man where convicted criminals are given a chance to escape by running through a gauntlet of brutal killers known as “Stalkers” (basically just a bunch of Arnold’s beefy wresting buddies in fancy costumes).
But when a wrongly accused citizen (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is chosen as a contestant, all hell breaks loose. Cheap sets, dorky costumes, gratuitous violence, an all-star cast, and classic memorable Arnold one-liners make this violent cheesy mess a cult classic.
Actually, there’s really no dialog in this film, just lots of one-liners. So here are the best of the worst. After you watch the film, you’ll get a kick out of these Running Man quotes.
PLOT SUMMARY: A wrongly-convicted man must try to survive a public execution gauntlet staged as a TV game show called The Running Man.
Give me the Justice Department… Entertainment Division.
- (Damon Killian is talking to the operator on the telephone)
- Damon Killian: Hello, this is Killian. Give me the Justice Department, Entertainment Division.
Now I’m gonna untie you, and then you’re gonna get dressed, and then you’re gonna come with me.
- Ben Richards: Now I’m gonna untie you, and then you’re gonna get dressed, and then you’re gonna come with me.
- Amber: Oh yeah? But why should I?
- Ben Richards: Because I’m gonna say “please”…
- (Arnold tears up the bench Amber is tied to from the floor it was bolted to)
- Amber: Well, why didn’t you say so?
We should have taken the trip to Hawaii.
- Amber: Me and my big mouth. We should have taken the trip to Hawaii.
- Ben Richards: I had the shirt for it, but you fu¢ked it up.
Won’t show on this shirt…
Personally, this is one of my favorite Running Man quotes. It’s a stupid joke, but it made me smile. In the scene Arnold is wearing a very busy Hawaiian shirt.
- Amber: I warn you I get sick. Carsick, airsick. And I’m going to throw up all over you.
- Richards: Go for it. Won’t show on this shirt…
This is television, that’s all it is. It has nothing to do with people, it’s to do with ratings!
- Damon Killian: This is television, that’s all it is. It has nothing to do with people, it’s to do with ratings! For fifty years, we’ve told them what to eat, what to drink, what to wear… for Christ’s sake, Ben, don’t you understand? Americans love television. They wean their kids on it. Listen. They love game shows, they love wrestling, they love sports and violence. So what do we do? We give ’em *what they want*! We’re number one, Ben, that’s all that counts, believe me. I’ve been in the business for thirty years.
- Ben Richards: Well, I may not have been in show business for as long as you have. But I’m a quick learner. And right now, I’m going to give the audience what I think they want.
Last season’s losers.
- (Referring to dead bodies)
- Amber: They’re Running Men. Last season’s winners.
- Fireball: No. Last season’s losers.
I’m not into politics. I’m into survival.
- Ben Richards: I’m not into politics. I’m into survival.
Killian! I’ll be back!
This Running Man quote is a reference to one of Arnold’s most famous movie lines, “I’ll be back,” from his 1984 film, The Terminator.
- Ben Richards: Killian! I’ll be back!
- Damon Killian: Only in a rerun.
I told Killian I’d be back.
- Ben Richards: I told Killian I’d be back. I wouldn’t want to be a liar.
I don’t do requests.
- Damon Killian: You bastard! Drop-dead!
- Ben Richards: I don’t do requests.
What a pain in the neck.
- Ben Richards: (after strangling Sub-Zero with barbed wire) What a pain in the neck.
Out of all the Running Man quotes on this list, this one is the lamest one-liner in the film. Arnold Schwarzenegger says it after he kills Subzero.
- Ben Richards: Killian, here’s your Subzero, now plain zero.
- Ben Richards: Uplink underground, uplink underground. If you say that one more time, I’ll uplink your ass, and you’ll be underground!
I’m going to ram it into your stomach and break your god-damn spine!
- Ben Richards: (after ripping the surveillance monitor off the wall) You cold-blooded bastard! I’ll tell you what I think of it: I’ll live to see you eat that contract, but I hope you leave enough room for my fist because I’m going to ram it into your stomach and break your god-damn spine!
- (Smashes monitor on the floor)
It’s all part of life’s rich pattern
- Damon Killian: It’s all part of life’s rich pattern, Brenda, and you better fu¢king get used to it.
Buzzsaw took care of my traveling arrangements.
- (Ben Richards finds a mortally-wounded Laughlin)
- William Laughlin: I’m going somewhere, but not with you. Buzzsaw took care of my traveling arrangements.
What happened to Buzzsaw?
- Amber: (after Richards cut Buzzsaw in half with a chain saw) What happened to Buzzsaw?
- Ben Richards: He had to split.
Give me a break and shut up!
- Ben Richards: If you’re not ready to act, give me a break and shut up!
Yeah, the one with the boat.
- Damon Killian: Yes, I know a stalker died! It had to happen sooner or later! (pause)
- Damon Killian: Well, it is a contact sport, okay? You want ratings. You want people in front of the television instead of picket lines. Well, you’re not gonna get that with re-runs of Gilligan’s Island. (pause)
- Damon Killian: Gilligan’s Island.
- (hums the theme song)
- Damon Killian: Yeah, the one with the boat.
Who loves you and who do you love?
- Damon Killian: Who loves you and who do you love?
You’re lucky he didn’t…
- Amy: You’re lucky he didn’t kill you, too. Or rape you, then kill you. Or kill you, then rape you.
I want a kiss, now, a big kiss, but remember… no tongues.
- Damon Killian: I want a kiss, now, a big kiss, but remember… no tongues.
Don’t touch that dial!
- Stevie: Don’t touch that dial!
Who’s Mr. Spock?
- Mic: Mr. Spock, you have the con.
- Rebel: Who’s Mr. Spock?
NERD NOTE: Mic, and Stevie, the rebel leaders in The Running Man, are played by musicians Mick Fleetwood and Dweezil Zappa.
You’re the as$hole on TV.
- Damon Killian: Hi, cutie pie. You know one of us is in deep trouble. Do you know who I am?
- Ben Richards: I’ve seen you before. You’re the as$hole on TV.
- Damon Killian: That’s funny. I was going to say the same thing about you.
I won’t kill a helpless human being. Not even sadistic scum… like you.
- Ben Richards: (to a trapped Dynamo) No. I won’t kill a helpless human being. Not even sadistic scum… like you.
The Justice Department’s calling every ten minutes.
- Tony: The Justice Department’s calling every ten minutes.
- Damon Killian: Just give them an evasive answer. Tell them to go fu¢k themselves.
There’s nothing funny about a dickless moron with a battery up his ass.
- Dynamo: Thought it was pretty funny out there in the zone? What’s the matter now bitch, why aren’t you laughing?
- Amber: Because there’s nothing funny about a dickless moron with a battery up his ass.
Hey, Christmas Tree!
- Ben Richards: (trying to get Dynamo’s attention) Hey, Lighthead! Hey, Christmas Tree!
Jesus Christ… Guess again!
- Amber: (seeing Fireball enter the game) Jesus Christ!
- Ben Richards: (seeing Fireball discharge a burst from his flamethrower) Guess again!
One of us is in deep trouble.
- Ben Richards: (to Killian) One of us is in deep trouble.
- (Sven enters)
- Damon Killian: (Laughs) Sven, do you wanna talk to Mr. Richards?
- (long pause)
- Damon Killian: Well?
- Sven: I’ve got to score some steroids.
- (Sven leaves)
What’s the matter? Steroids make you deaf?
- Damon Killian: What’s the matter? Steroids make you deaf?
They think I’m your girlfriend.
- Amber: They think I’m your girlfriend.
- Ben Richards: I can straighten that out. See that camera up there? I’ll strangle you in front of the whole audience.
Women. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live… with ’em.
- Ben Richards: Women. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live… with ’em.
That boy is one mean motherfu¢ker.
- Damon Killian: There are still two stalkers out there. Dynamo and Fireball Who do you think will make the next kill?
- Elderly Lady (Agnes): Oh my. That’s a tough one.
- Damon Killian: Come on, Agnes. You can do it. Who do you think?
- Elderly Lady (Agnes): Alright, I think the next kill will be made by… Ben Richards.
- Damon Killian: No, no. Agnes, Richards is a runner. You have to pick a stalker.
- Elderly Lady (Agnes): I can pick anyone I choose. And I choose… Ben Richards. That boy is one mean motherfu¢ker.
We’re experiencing technical difficulties!
- Damon Killian: (after incriminating footage is shown on the studio screen) Ladies and gentlemen! Ladies and gentlemen! If you’ll please bare with us, we’re experiencing technical difficulties!
- Elderly Lady (Agnes): Bull$hit!
NERD NOTE: Damon Killian, the game show host in The Running Man, is played by Richard Dawson, the long-time host of the American game show “Family Feud.”
The Running Man Cast
Not all of these great Running Man quotes were said by regular actors. The film has an eclectic cast of wrestlers, sports athletes, musicians, and even a TV game show host. Here are some of its unique casting highlights.
- Jim Brown: NFL player (Cleveland Browns), actor (The Dirty Dozen Mars Attacks!)
- Jesse Ventura: Wrestler, politician, actor (Predator, Demolition Man)
- Erland van Lidth: Wrestler, opera singer, actor
- Professor Toru Tanaka: wrestler, actor (Stir Crazy, Alone In The Dark)
- Mick Fleetwood: Musician (Fleetwood Mac)
- Dweezil Zappa: Musician, Actor (Jack Frost, Pretty In Pink)
- Richard Dawson: Actor, TV game show host (Family Feud)
NERD NOTE: Play close attention to the closing credits. Guess who did the choreography for The Running Man dancers? That’s right, Paula Abdul!
Quotes From The Running Man
In 1987, Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in two very successful movies, The Running Man and Predator. Combined, these films grossed over $135 million dollars.
Thanks for reading our list of the best Running Man quotes. We tried to include them all but if we left out any of your favorites then please let us know in the comments.