Movie Reviews

Twister's 10 Best Quotes, Ranked

Summary

  • In the 1996 film Twister, there are several memorable quotes that showcase the characters’ personalities and the humor that the movie brings to life.
  • Through the intense storm chasing adventures of its characters, Twister offered some hilarious quotes.
  • With plenty of memorable moments throughout, Twister’s legacy has endured to the point that an upcoming sequel is due to be released.



The disaster thriller Twister was among the most successful movies of 1996 and was packed with memorable quotes that movie lovers still remember to this day. With a funny script, strong performances, and incredible visuals, Twister told the story of passionate storm chasers trying to utilize a tornado research device during a severe outbreak that threatened to kill them all. Filled with plenty of humor, excitement, and fast-paced action, this enduring story was praised by critics and even took home two Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound.

With an upcoming stand-alone sequel titled Twisters on the horizon, there has never been a better time to look back on the greatest movie quotes from Twister. With a passionate performance from Helen Hunt, an enjoyable turn from Bill Paxton, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the hilarious comic relief, there were countless memorable quotes throughout this highly engrossing disaster film. From therapy talk to flying cows, Twister had some truly great movie quotes.



10 “I Can’t Hold It Anymore”

Jo’s Father

The opening scene of Twister began with a flashback to an Oklahoma farm in 1969, which gave a lot of insight into the character of Jo Harding. Just prior to Jo’s sixth birthday, she and her family were subjected to a tornado, the likes of which they had never seen before and which Jo’s father struggled to protect her and her mother from. As the family huddled in their storm shelter, Jo’s father did everything in his power to keep the roof secure before uttering the phrase, “I can’t hold it anymore.”


With this, Jo’s father was sucked out of the cellar by the raging F5 tornado as Jo and her mother watched in horror. This was a core event in Jo’s life and the catalyst for her fascination with tornadoes and life’s mission of learning more scientific information about them to save any other young child from going through the trauma she endured. Jo’s father’s brave sacrifice saved her life and allowed her to grow into the passionate storm chaser she became.

9 “He’s In It For The Money, Not Science”

Bill Harding

Cary Elwes as Jonas Miller in Twister (1996)


With the phrase “he’s in it for the money, not science,” Bill Harding told audiences everything they needed to know about his rival Jonas Miller. While both of these characters exhibited a desire to learn more about the true nature of tornadoes in Twister, Bill’s explanation of Jonas’s motivation provided insight into the psychology of storm chasers and how some scientists were pursuing this knowledge for the good of humanity while others only wished to benefit themselves. This was further exemplified by how Jonas belittled his rival storm chasers in television news interviews.

As much as Bill’s description of Jonas gave insight into the psychology of Jonas, it also highlighted a lot about Bill himself. Although Bill had at first appeared to have moved on from his storm-chasing lifestyle in Twister, once he found himself face-to-face with a tornado, his old desire to get into the eye of the storm immediately reappeared. While Jonas may have been “in it for the money,” Bill was “in it” because it’s what he needed to do, because storm chasing was the reason he was put on this earth.


8 “You Mean To Tell Me Billy Knows What A Storm Is Thinking”

Dr. Melissa Reeves

Jami Gertz as Dr. Melissa Reeves and Helen Hunt as Jo Harding talking in Twister (1996)

When Dr. Melissa Reeves first got together with Bill Harding, she had no idea the extent of his fascination with storms and tornadoes. While Twister began with Bill simply trying to get Jo Harding to sign their divorce papers so he could get married to Melissa, his new fiance was soon confronted with the true nature of his storm-chasing lifestyle. When Melissa finally got some one-on-one time with Jo, she could hardly believe the idea that Bill was such an expert on storms that he almost knew what they were thinking.


This personification of storms and tornadoes was seen throughout Twister as the group of storm chasers showed respect and admiration for the destructive potential of these natural phenomena. In almost every scene, Melissa learned new information about Bill, and as Twister progressed, she learned how little she actually knew about the man she was prepared to marry. While Bill appeared to move on from his storm-chasing ways, Melissa slowly started to accept the fact that Jo was reviving his interest in his old lifestyle.

7 “She Did Not Marry Your Penis”

Dr. Melissa Reeves

Jami Gertz as Dr. Melissa Reeves talking on the phone in Twister (1996)

One of the funniest recurring jokes in Twister was related to the therapist, Dr. Melissa Reeves, trying to keep up with the responsibilities of her work while in the midst of a storm-chasing adventure. Throughout Twister, Melissa was seen on the phone speaking with of her clients, and although the audience was only privy to one side of the conversation, it seemed that her client had doubts about the true nature of his marriage. This was exemplified when Melissa shouted into the phone, “She did not marry your penis.”


While this was already a laugh-out-loud piece of dialogue that imbued the intense disaster scenes with some much-needed levity, it became even funnier as Melissa’s conversation continued. While Melissa spoke to her client about his feelings of inadequacy, she then conceded that his penis may have had something to do with the reason he got married. Melissa hilariously added, “Okay, alright, she did not only marry your penis.”

6 “The Suck Zone”

Dusty Davies

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dusty Davies in Twister (1996)


Philip Seymour Hoffman gave an incredible performance as Dusty Davies, the friendly, goofy, and dark-humor-loving tornado expert assisting with the mission to utilize the Dorothy instrument in Twister. With plenty of funny quotes throughout Twister, perhaps Dusty’s most memorable line was when he explained “the suck zone” to Dr. Melissa Reeves. From somebody who has devoted their life to studying storms, Dusty’s description of this zone was hilarious in its simplicity.

Dusty explained to Melissa that “the suck zone” was “the point basically at which the twister sucks you up.” To be fair to Dusty, he followed this statement by saying, “That’s not the technical term for it, obviously.” However, Dusty’s hilariously casual language when speaking about the complexities of those who research hurricanes, storms, and tornadoes was part of what made him one of the best characters in Twister who added comic relief to every scene he was in.


5 “Grab Your Ankles And Stick Your Butt In The Air”

Rabbit

Alan Ruck as Rabbit in Twister (1996)

One of Twister’s most important scenes came when the storm chasers visited Jo’s Aunt Meg in nearby Wakita for rest and food in between storms. Aunt Meg was extremely hospitable and provided the group with steak, eggs, and her famous gravy as they all reminisced about times past and spoke about their storm-chasing adventures. The most hilarious of these interactions came from Rabbit (Alan Ruck), whose advice for a severe lightning storm was to “grab your ankles and stick your butt in the air.”


Rabbit spoke with complete sincerity when giving this advice and was quickly backed up by Haynes (Wendle Josepher), who said, “he’s right if you’re gonna get hit, it’s the safest orifice.” The highly humorous way that this group of expert storm chasers spoke about the deadliest of natural disasters showcased how much action they had seen over the years trying to gather scientific evidence on tornadoes. While Rabbit’s advice may have seemed absurd, he was also speaking from a place of experience.

4 “Is There An F5?”

Dr. Melissa Reeves

Jami Gertz as Dr. Melissa Reeves asking about tornadoes in Twister (1996)

While the storm chasers in Twister discussed all the different types of tornadoes at Aunt Meg’s house, Dr. Melissa Reeves could only listen with fascination at how dangerous storms could become and where they ranked on the Fujita scale. They told Melissa about the different categories, from the relatively mild F1 to the destructive impact of an F4, which Bill Harding said would “relocate your house fairly efficiently.” However, once Melissa asked, “Is there an F5?” the group was briefly stunned to silence.


They explained that an F5 was a very rare type of storm, and only one of them had previously encountered such destruction. This was a callback to the opening scene of Twister, where Jo Harding lost her father to an incredibly dangerous storm and then devoted her life to researching them. This also powerfully foreshadowed the dangerous F5 that Bill and Jo would face in the climax of Twister.

3 “Check Out That Sky… I Think We’ve Seen Enough”

Jo Harding

Helen Hunt as Jo Harding and Bill Paxton as Bill Harding at the end of Twister (1996)


Throughout Twister, Jo Harding was seen as an incredibly determined and tenacious woman who showed no fear when going directly into the heart of an ongoing storm. With a passion for science and an insatiable need to learn more about the nature of tornadoes, she did everything in her power to utilize the Dorothy instrument that could help improve the advanced warning system from three minutes to 15 minutes. However, in the final minutes of Twister, when her colleagues told her to “check out the sky” in preparation for another storm, she finally said, “I think we’ve seen enough.”

This realization from Jo that she had achieved her goal and no longer had to put herself in harm’s way was an important moment of character growth for her. With Jo’s romance with Bill reignited, they still had plenty of work to do together to create their advanced warning system, but now they could do that safely and finally focus on repairing their broken marriage. This line from Jo that they’d “seen enough” was a clue to the audience that the couple may have a chance at staying together permanently after the credits rolled.


Dr. Melissa Reeves

Jami Gertz as Dr. Melissa Reeves in Twister (1996)

One character who was consistently shocked throughout Twister was the unfortunate Dr. Melissa Reeves. As Bill Harding’s new partner, Melissa had no idea what she was getting herself into when she accompanied her boyfriend in his plan to get Jo to sign their divorce papers. Before too long, Melissa found herself in the midst of a storm-chasing adventure and realized that Bill had been serious about his passion for chasing tornadoes.


While audiences did not get to see Bill and Melissa’s relationship before the events of Twister, the way she spoke about them as a couple revealed he did not tell her the full extent of his love for storm-chasing. This was evident from Melissa’s statement: “When you used to tell me that you chased tornadoes, deep down, I always thought it was a metaphor.” While Melissa may have thought this before the movie began, by the end of Twister, she had learned that he meant every word literally.

1 “Cow. Another Cow. Actually, I Think That Was The Same One”

Bill and Jo Harding

A cow flying through the air in Twister

Without a doubt, the best quote from Twister came from Bill and Jo Harding as they encountered livestock while in the middle of an epic storm-chasing session. This was when the duo encountered a major tornado that was eating and destroying everything, including the local cows. As the storm ranged around them, a cow flew by and mooed through the sky as Jo simply commented in astonishment, “cow” and when the same thing happened moments later, all she could say was “another cow.”


While this made for a terrifying sight, the iconic Twister scene briefly became hilarious when Bill retorted, “Actually, I think that was the same one.” While this appeared to be an absurd situation, it perfectly captured just how terrifying this storm was and the devastating consequences if their car had been swallowed up by its impact. Twister highlighted the extremes of natural disasters, and although the “cow” scene was one of its funniest, it was also one of its most effective.

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