These top 60 The Silence of the Lambs quotes will entice you to re-watch the movie as soon as possible!
When it comes to genuinely terrifying cinematic experiences, The Silence of the Lambs is hard to beat. The imagery and dialogue never fail to give viewers goosebumps in any scene.
It was a box office hit and the first horror movie to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. You may find yourself questioning its morals and where the plot is going.
But, it’s so masterfully crafted that we can rank it up there with the other classic movies we love.
Buffalo Bill, a psychopath who kidnaps and murders young women, is central to the movie’s plot. To catch him, the FBI sends Clarice Starling to interview Hannibal Lecter.
He’s a mentally ill prisoner who may provide psychological insight and clues to the killer’s actions.
Along the way, she discovers more about herself and what happens around her. Do you think she’ll be able to capture Buffalo Bill because of her newfound knowledge?
Immerse yourself in the plot as you read our complete list below!
Best The Silence of the Lambs Quotes
1. “Memory, Agent Starling, is what I have instead of a view.” – Hannibal Lecter
2. “You see a lot, Doctor. But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don’t you—why don’t you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you’re afraid to.” – Clarice Starling
3. “You still wake up sometimes, don’t you? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs.” – Hannibal Lecter
4. “It matters, Mr. Crawford. Cops look at you to see how to act. It matters.” – Clarice Starling
5. “Oh, he’s a monster. Pure psychopath. So rare to capture one alive. From a research point of view, Lecter is our most prized asset.” – Dr. Frederick Chilton
6. “Look for severe childhood disturbances associated with violence. Our Billy wasn’t born a criminal, Clarice. He was made one through years of systematic abuse.” – Hannibal Lecter
7. “I have no plans to call on you, Clarice, the world being more interesting with you in it.” – Hannibal Lecter
8. “First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?” – Hannibal Lecter
9. “You’re very frank, Clarice. I think it would be quite something to know you in private life.” – Hannibal Lecter
Famous The Silence of the Lambs Quotes
10. “Well, Clarice. Have the lambs stopped screaming?” – Hannibal Lecter
11. “I do wish we could chat longer, but I’m having an old friend for dinner.” – Hannibal Lecter
12. “No! He covets. That is his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer now.” – Hannibal Lecter
13. “Starling, when I told that sheriff we shouldn’t talk in front of a woman, that really burned you, didn’t it? It was just smoke, Starling. I had to get rid of him.” – Jack Crawford
14. “All good things to those who wait. I’ve waited, but how long can you and Jackie-boy wait? Our little Billy must already be looking for that next special someone.” – Hannibal Lecter
15. “You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well-scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste. Good nutrition’s given you some length of bone, but you’re not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling?” – Hannibal Lecter
16. “Do not touch the glass. Do not approach the glass. You pass him nothing but soft paper—no pencils or pens. No staples or paperclips in his paper. Use the sliding food carrier, no exceptions. If he attempts to pass you anything, do not accept it. Do you understand me?” – Dr. Frederick Chilton
17. “Terns? Mmh. If I help you, Clarice, it will be ‘turns’ with us too. Quid pro quo. I tell you things, you tell me things. Not about this case, though. About yourself. Quid pro quo. Yes or no?” – Hannibal Lecter
18. “We’ve tried to study him, of course, but he’s much too sophisticated for the standard tests.” – Hannibal Lecter
19. Clarice Starling: “Doctor, we don’t have any more time for any of this now.”
Hannibal Lecter: “But we don’t reckon time the same way, do we, Clarice?”
The Silence of the Lambs Quotes From Hannibal Lecter
20. “Brave Clarice. You will let me know when those lambs stop screaming, won’t you?” – Hannibal Lecter
21. “Don’t you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don’t your eyes seek out the things you want?” – Hannibal Lecter
22. “Jack Crawford is helping your career, isn’t he? Apparently, he likes you and you like him too.” – Hannibal Lecter
23. “Evil’s just destructive? Then storms are evil if it’s that simple. And we have a fire, and there’s hail. Underwriters lump it all under ‘Acts of God.’” – Hannibal Lecter
24. “There are three major centers for transsexual surgery—I wouldn’t be surprised if Billy had applied for sex reassignment at one or all of them and been rejected—Billy hates his own identity, you see, and he thinks that makes him a transsexual.” – Hannibal Lecter
25. “I would not have had that happen to you, discourtesy is unspeakably ugly to me.” – Hannibal Lecter
26. “Oh, Clarice. Your problem is you need to get more fun out of life.” – Hannibal Lecter
27. “Everything that’s good in the world is for those who wait.” – Hannibal Lecter
28. “Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. It happened. You can’t reduce me to a set of influences.” – Hannibal Lecter
29. “Punishment, you see, for Miggs. Like that Gospel Programme. When you’re gone, they’ll turn the volume way up. Doctor Chiltern does enjoy his petty torments.” – Hannibal Lecter
30. “Whenever feasible, one should always try to eat the rude.” – Hannibal Lecter
31. “I’ve been in this room for eight years, now Clarice, and I know they’ll never let me out, not while I’m alive. What I want is a view where I can see a tree or even water. I want to be in a federal institution far away from Doctor Chiltern. I’ll help you catch him, Clarice.” – Hannibal Lecter
Also read: The Shining Quotes
The Silence of the Lambs Quotes From Clarice Starling
32. “He won’t come after me. He won’t. I can’t explain it—he—he would consider that rude.” – Clarice Starling
33. “If Lecter thinks you’re his enemy, maybe we’d have better luck if I went in by myself.” – Clarice Starling
34. “And one morning, I just ran away. I heard a strange noise. It was—screaming. Some kind of screaming, like a child’s voice.” – Clarice Starling
35. “No. First I tried to free them. I—I opened the gate to their pen, but they wouldn’t run. They just stood there, confused. They wouldn’t run.” – Clarice Starling
36. “There’s no correlation in the literature between transsexualism and violence. Transsexuals are very passive.” – Clarice Starling
37. “I don’t know. I didn’t have any food, any water, and it was very cold, very cold. I thought, I thought, if I could save just one, but—he was so heavy. So heavy. I didn’t get more than a few miles when the sheriff’s car picked me up. The rancher was so angry he sent me to live at the Lutheran orphanage in Bozeman. I never saw the ranch again.” – Clarice Starling
The Silence of the Lambs Quotes From Buffalo Bill
38. “No, nothin’ like that at all. Say, does the FBI learn something? The police around here don’t seem to have the first clue.” – Buffalo Bill
39. “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again!” – Buffalo Bill
40. “Oh wait—was she a great big fat person?” – Buffalo Bill
The Silence of the Lambs Quotes That’ll Make You Feel Uneasy
41. “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” – Hannibal Lecter
42. Hannibal Lecter: “Why do you think he removes their skins, Agent Starling? Enthrall me with your acumen.”
Clarice Starling: “It excites him. Most serial killers keep some sort of trophies from their victims.”
Hannibal Lecter: “I didn’t.”
Clarice Starling: “No. No, you ate yours.”
43. “When the nurse leaned over him, he did this to her. The doctors managed to reset her jaw, more or less. Saved one of her eyes—his pulse never got above 85, even when he ate her tongue.” – Dr. Frederick Chilton
44. “I drink your blood, I eat your flesh.” – Hannibal Lecter
The Silence of the Lambs Quotes to Get a Glimpse of the Movie’s Best Scenes
45. Agent Murray: “Is it true what they’re saying?”
Clarice Starling: “Huh?”
Agent Murray: “He’s some kinda vampire?”
Clarice Starling: “They don’t have a name for what he is.”
46. “No. That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does? What needs does he serve by killing?” – Hannibal Lecter
47. Clarice Starling: “If you didn’t kill him, who did?”
Hannibal Lecter: “Who can say? Best thing for him, really, his therapy was going nowhere. No, just think of him as a fledgling killer’s first attempt at transformation.”
48. “How the f*ck should I know? Just get me outta here!” – Catherine Martin
49. “Just do your job, but never forget what he is.” – Jack Crawford
50. “Okay, Mister, if you let me go, I won’t—I won’t press charges, I promise. See, my mom is a really important woman—I guess you already know that.” – Catherine Martin
51. “A pretty young woman to turn him on. I don’t believe Lecter’s even seen a woman in eight years. And oh, are you ever his taste? So to speak.” – Dr. Frederick Chilton
52. “Advancement, of course. Listen carefully. Look deep within yourself, Clarice Starling. Go seek out Miss Mofet, an old patient of mine. M-o-f-e-t. Go now, I don’t think Miggs could manage again quite so soon, even though he is crazy.” – Hannibal Lecter
53. Hannibal Lecter: “Do you think that Jack Crawford wants you sexually? True, he is much older, but do you think he visualizes scenarios, exchanges, f*cking you?”
Clarice Starling: “That doesn’t interest me Doctor and frankly, it’s, it’s the sort of thing that Miggs would say.”
54. “I went downstairs, outside. I crept up into the barn. I was so scared to look inside, but I had to.” – Clarice Starling
55. Hannibal Lecter: “Now then, tell me. What did Miggs say to you? Multiple Miggs in the next cell. He hissed at you. What did he say?”
Clarice Starling: “He said, ‘I can smell your cunt.’”
56. “No! Don’t you leave me here you f*ckin’ b*tch, no! Don’t you leave me here, this guy is f*cking crazy!” – Catherine Martin
More The Silence of the Lambs Quotes for Fans Who Love a Good Thriller
57. “Garden-variety Manic Depressive. Tedious, very tedious. I did not kill him; I assure you just tucked him away, very much as I found him after he’d missed three appointments.” – Hannibal Lecter
58. Dr. Frederick Chilton: “You could have mentioned this in my office and saved me the time.”
Clarice Starling: “Yes, but then I would have missed the pleasure of your company.”
59. “Believe me, you don’t want Hannibal Lecter inside your head.” – Jack Crawford
60. “I collect church collapses, recreationally. Did you see the recent one in Sicily? Marvelous! The facade fell on 65 grandmothers at a special mass. Was that evil? If so, who did it? If he’s up there, he just loves it, Officer Starling. Typhoid and swans—it all comes from the same place.” – Hannibal Lecter
Did You Discover Anything New About the Importance of Being True to Yourself?
The Silence of the Lambs is a one-of-a-kind movie that makes its viewers stop, think, and reflect. After all, it’s not every day that you see a top FBI student building a rapport and relationship with a violent psychopath who’s behind bars.
Though unusual, Clarice Starling works with Hannibal Lecter to find Buffalo Bill. However, Hannibal Lecter clarified that he would only reveal information if Clarice shared a piece of her story with him. And, to succeed with her task, Clarice finds herself slowly opening up to him about more personal aspects of her life.
She wants to unburden herself, even if it is uncomfortable. As time passes, she decides to reveal the most vulnerable truth about her father’s death, and she feels transformed into a new person. Their relationship may be odd and unusual, but it helped Clarice Starling feel freer.
We can uncover so many more lessons from the movie, but one of them is how brave it is to peer into our minds and dare share our true selves. We may think that keeping to ourselves will save us from suffering. But, remember that our secrets—not our truths—are the ones that could kill us.
What else did you learn from The Silence of the Lambs? Are there any quotes that really made an impact on you? Share them below!