Martin McDonagh’s profanity, from Three Billboards to In Bruges.

Martin McDonagh’s Filthiest Lines, From Three Billboards to In Bruges

Martin McDonagh’s Filthiest Lines, From Three Billboards to In Bruges

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 14 2017 8:33 AM

Martin McDonagh’s Filthiest Lines, From Three Billboards to In Bruges

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Frances McDormand is NSFW.

Merrick Morton/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

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This article originally appeared in Vulture.

With In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, and now Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh has given us some of the funniest dialogue ever put to film. He’s also one of the deftest screenwriters in the business when it comes to deploying profanities and crude language. Here, we present some of the writer-director’s best—and filthiest—lines.

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From Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

On billboard etiquette:

  • “What’s the law on what you can and cannot say on a billboard? I assume you can’t say nothing defamatory and you can’t say ‘fuck,’ ‘piss,’ or ‘cunt.’ That right?”
  • “Or ‘anus?’”

On being interrupted:

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  • “You goddamn asshole, I’m in the middle of my goddamn Easter dinner.”

On provenance:

  • “I checked it out in the book.”
  • “What book, genius?”
  • “Book called ‘suck my ass, it’s none of your business.’”

On zoo employees:

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  • “He’s still shacked up with a chick smells of shit, though I don’t know if it has anything to do with the zoo. Though I’d hope so.”

On taking sides:

  • “Why are you never on my side?”
  • “I am on your side, when you’re not being a cunt.”
  • “There will be no more ‘cunts’ in this house.”
  • “What, are you moving out?”

On afternoon delight:

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  • “That was a real nice day. That was a real nice fuck. You got a real nice cock, Mr. Willoughby.”
  • “Is that from a play? ‘You got a real nice cock, Mr. Willoughby.’ I think I heard that in a Shakespeare one time.”

On ongoing cases:

  • “This doesn’t put an end to shit, you fucking retard, this is just the fucking start. Why don’t you put that on your ‘Good Morning, Missouri’ fucking wake-up broadcast, bitch?”

On misconceptions:

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  • “You’re a decent man. I know you don’t think I think that, but I do, dipshit.”

From Seven Psychopaths

On relationship troubles:

  • “I don’t remember doing anything to piss her off.”
  • “Don’t worry about it, she’s probably pissed at you not for anything specific, more because, you know, she’s a fucking bitch.”
  • “She’s not a fucking bitch. She’s just got issues.”
  • “Yeah, she’s got issues, she’s got being a fucking bitch issues.”

On alcoholism:

  • “I don’t have a drinking problem, I just like drinking.”
  • “Of course you do. One, you’re a writer. Two, you’re from Ireland. It’s part of your heritage. You’re fucked.”
  • “Fuck off! Seriously, just fuck off, now, I’m not in the fucking mood!”
  • “You’re fucked, from birth!”

On not snitching:

  • “I don’t know who you are, or why you’re here, and I don’t know if you do know where the shih tzu is or if you don’t know where the shih tzu is, but either way, have some pride in yourself. Have some faith in Jesus Christ as your lord and savior, and don’t tell these scum-sucking motherfuckers nothing.”

On physical intimacy:

  • “You’re still screwing that mafia guy. God knows what shit that prick’s giving you.”
  • “Get the fuck off me!”
  • “I didn’t mean AIDS or nothin, honey. Honey, I meant like chlamydia or something.”

On observing violence:

  • “You! You’re there. You’re just there to observe, and that’s alright! Nobody think you’re a pussy.”

On frustrating circumstances:

  • “Well, that’s just fucking great. Oh, great! You know what that is? D’you know what that is?”
  • “Great?”
  • “That’s just fucking great!”

On hypocrisy:

  • “This guy just telephoned a psycho killer to come down and psycho kill us. And this guy’s doubting a lifelong belief in the afterlife because of a psychedelic cactus he just ate. And you motherfuckers are telling me to behave?”

On comparing misfortune:

  • “What’s with your sour fucking puss? I could’ve just killed you, now, couldn’t I? Yeah, you’ve had your friend killed, and you’re just about to have your other friend killed, but that still only makes two friends killed. I’ve had four of my guys killed, and also my girlfriend killed, who I didn’t like much, but that’s still five friends killed. That’s three more friends killed than you’ve had friends killed, so don’t give me that moan-y fucking face, okay?”

On writing a screenplay:

  • “I know you said, ‘dream sequences are for fags,’ but I think it could work, don’t you? We all kinda dream, don’t we? Not just fags. By the way, I don’t think they like being called ‘fags’ anymore. I think nowadays, they prefer ‘homos.’”

From In Bruges

On Bruges:

  • “Bruges is a shithole.”
  • “Bruges is not a shithole.”
  • “Bruges is a shithole.”
  • “We’ve only just got off the fucking train. Could we reserve judgment on Bruges until we’ve seen the fucking place?”
  • “I know it’s going to be a shithole.”

On missing appointments:

  • “Number one, why aren’t you in when I fucking told you to be in? Number two, why doesn’t this hotel have phones with fucking voicemail and not I have to leave messages with the fucking receptionist? Number three, you better fucking be in tomorrow night when I fucking call again or there’ll be fucking hell to pay, I’m fucking telling you.”

On sightseeing:

  • “I’m gonna go up in the queue and touch it, which is what you do. Are you coming?”
  • “Do I have to?”
  • “’Do you have to?’ Of course you don’t have to. It’s Jesus’ fucking blood, isn’t it? Of course you don’t fucking have to. Of course you don’t fucking have to.”

On art:

  • “I quite like this one. All the rest are rubbish by spastics, but this one’s quite good.”

On arguments:

  • “Fucking unbelievable.”
  • “What’s fucking unbelievable?”
  • “You talking to me?”
  • “He pauses, even though he should just hit the cunt, and he repeats: Yes, I am talking to you. What’s fucking unbelievable?”

On Bruges (part two):

  • “It’s a fairytale fucking town, isn’t it? How can a fairytale town not be somebody’s fucking thing? How can all those canals, and bridges, and cobblestone streets, and those churches, and all that beautiful fucking fairytale stuff—how can that not be somebody’s fucking thing? Is the swan still there? How can fucking swans not fucking be somebody’s fucking thing?”

On phones:

  • “It’s an inanimate fucking object.”
  • You’re an inanimate fucking object!

On depression:

  • “He’s suicidal? I’m suicidal, you’re suicidal, everybody’s fucking suicidal, we don’t all keep going on about it. Has he killed himself yet? No. So he’s not fucking suicidal, is he?”

On personal character:

  • “Let’s face it—and I’m not being funny, I mean no disrespect. But you’re a cunt. You’re a cunt now, you’ve always been a cunt. And the only thing that’s gonna change, is that you’re gonna become an even bigger cunt. Maybe have some more cunt kids.”
  • “Leave my kids fucking out of it. What have they done? You fucking retract that bit about my cunt fucking kids.”
  • “I retract that bit about your cunt fucking kids.”

On nonviolence:

  • “Oh, like I’m not gonna do nothing to you just because you’re standing about like Robert fucking Powell?”
  • “Like who?”
  • “Like Robert fucking Powell, like Jesus of fucking Nazareth.”