30 West Side Story Quotes on Racism & Discrimination

Let these West Side Story quotes serve as eye-openers to society’s realities!

West Side Story is a movie adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It first premiered on Broadway in 1957 and then was adapted into movies in 1961 and 2021.

Romeo and Juliet is such a classic. With it as inspiration, the movies also became famous for their creative vision and honest discussion about current social issues. And, no matter how hard we deny racial and social prejudice, it’s been present in our communities ever since.

Both adaptations of West Side Story were able to capture this truth. Because of this, we can strongly relate to each scene and dialogue.

Discrimination and racism are not new topics to us. But, that doesn’t mean we should continue to tolerate them.

So, if you experience or encounter this kind of situation, let this list encourage you to stand firm. Read the entire collection below and be ready to tackle life!

Start reading here.

And don’t forget to check out these Mamma Mia quotes and Grease quotes.

Best West Side Story Quotes

1. Tony: “Make of our hands one hand, make of our hearts one heart. Make of our vows one last vow, only death will part us now.”

Maria: “Make of our lives one life, day after day one life.”

Tony and Maria: “Now it begins, now we start. One hand, one heart; even death won’t part us now.”

2. “All of you! You all killed him, and my brother, and Riff! Not with bullets and knives, but with hate! Well, I can kill now too, because now I have hate! How many can I kill, Chino? How many—and still, have one bullet left for me? Don’t you touch him! Te adoro, Anton.” – Maria

3. “Everyone of you hates every one of us, and we hate you right back.” – Bernardo

4. “I felt, I knew something never before was going to happen, had to happen.” – Tony

5. “A gang that doesn’t own the street is nothin’!” – Action

Moving West Side Story Quotes for Those Looking for Love

6. Tony: “I didn’t believe hard enough.”

Maria: “Loving is enough.”

Tony: “Not here. They won’t let us be.”

Maria: “Then we’ll run away.”

7. Maria: “Tonight, tonight, it all began tonight. I saw you, and the world went away. Tonight, tonight, there’s only you tonight, what you are, what you do, what you say.”

Tony: “Today, all day, I had the feeling a miracle would happen. I know now I was right.”

Tony and Maria: “For here you are and what was just a world is a star tonight.”

8. Tony: “There’s a place for us, somewhere, a place for our peace and quiet and open air waiting for us, somewhere.”

Maria: “There’s a time for us, someday a time for us. Time together with time to spare, time to look, time to care, someday.”

Tony: “Somewhere, we’ll find a new way of living.”

Maria: “We’ll find a way of forgiving somewhere.”

9. Maria: “If Chino hurts him, if he touches him, I swear to you I’ll—.”

Anita: “You’ll do what Tony did to Bernardo?”

Maria: “I love Tony.”

Anita: “I know. I loved Bernardo.”

10. “A boy like that who’d kill your brother. Forget that boy and find another. One of your own kind, stick to your own kind. A boy like that will give you sorrow. You’ll meet another boy tomorrow.” – Anita

11. Tony: “Doc, I’m in love!”

Doc: “And you’re not frightened?”

Tony: “Should I be?”

Also read: True Love Quotes

Iconic West Side Story Quotes to Revisit Its Greatest Scenes

12. “You were never my age, none of ya! And the sooner you creeps get hip to that, the sooner you’ll dig us!” – Action

13. “Come in, come in! We won’t bite you until we know you better.” – Anita

14. “When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way! From you first cigarette your last dyin’ days.” – Riff

15. Anita: “Ah, I’m an American girl now. I don’t wait.”

Bernardo: “Ah, back home, women know their place.”

Anita: “Back home, little boys don’t have war councils.”

Bernardo: “Ah, but they do here. You want me to be an American, don’t you?”

16. “I know. It’s a free country. I ain’t got the right. But I got a badge. What do you get? Things are tough all over. Beat it.” – Schrank

17. Bernardo: “Get your hands off, American. Stay away from my sister.”

Tony: “Sister?”

Bernardo: “Couldn’t you see he’s one of them?”

Maria: “No. I saw only him.”

Bernardo: “There’s only one thing they want from a Puerto Rican girl.”

Tony: “That’s a lie!”

Riff: “Later, Tony.”

Chino: “Get away.”

Tony: “Stay out of this, Chino. Don’t listen.”

Bernardo: “She will listen to her brother before she listens to you.”

18. Anita: “Puerto Rico, my heart’s devotion, Let it sink back into the ocean. Always the hurricanes blowing, Always the population growing. And the money owing, and the sunlight streaming. And the natives steaming. I like the island of Manhattan, Smoke on your pipe and put that in!”

Girls: “I like to be in America, okay by me in America, everything free in America!”

Bernardo: “For a small fee in America.”

Anita: “Buying on credit is so nice.”

Bernardo: “One look at us, and they charge twice.”

West Side Story Quotes That’ll Give You Chills

19. Chino: “It is bad.”

Maria: “Very bad?”

Chino: “You see—.”

Maria: “It will be easier if you say it very fast.”

Chino: “There was a fight. And Nardo—somehow, a knife—and Nardo and someone, they—.”

Maria: “Tony! What happened to Tony? Chino, tell me! Is Tony alright?!”

Chino: “He killed your brother!”

Maria: “You are lying! Chino! Why do you lie to me?! Chino! Chino! Chino, it’s true! You are lying! Why?! Why do you lie to me, Chino? Chino!”

20. Schrank: “You hoodlums don’t own these streets. And I’ve had all the rough houses I can put up with around here. Do you want to kill each other? Kill each other, but you ain’t gonna do it on my beat. Are there any questions?”

Bernardo: “Yes, sir. Would you mind translating that into Spanish?”

Schrank: “Get your friends out of here, Bernardo—and stay out, please.”

Bernardo: “Okay, Sharks. Vamonos.”

Schrank: “Boy, as if this neighborhood wasn’t crummy enough. Now, look, fellas. Fellas? Look, let’s be reasonable, huh? If I don’t get a little law and order around here, I get busted down to a traffic corner. And your friend doesn’t like traffic corners. So that means you’re gonna start makin’ nice with the PRs from now on. I said nice, get it! ‘Cause if you don’t, and I catch any of your doing any more brawlin’ in my territory, I’m gonna personally beat the living crud out of each and every one of you and see that you go to the can and rot there. Say goodbye to the nice boys, Krupke.”

21. Anita: “Bernardo was right. If one of you was lying in the street bleeding, I’d walk by and spit on you.”

Action: “Go on and go. Don’t tell Chino that Tony’s hidin’ in the cellar.”

Anita: “Don’t you touch me! I got a message for your American buddy. You tell that murderer that Maria’s never going to meet him. You tell him that Chino found out about them and shot her. She’s dead.”

Doc: “When do you kids stop? You make this world lousy.”

Action: “We didn’t make it, Doc.”

Doc: “Get out of here.”

Also read: La La Land Quotes, The Greatest Showman Quotes

Funny West Side Story Quotes to Make Your Day Brighter

22. Action: “Juvenile delinquency is purely a social disease.”

Riff: “Hey! I got a social disease!”

23. Maria: “My brother is a silly watchdog!”

Bernardo: “Ah, my sister is a precious jewel!”

24. Bernardo: “Now I will not say these things to spoil your evening or to hear myself talk. I am here longer than you, Maria. Someday, when you’re an old married woman with five children, then you can tell me what to do. Right now, it’s the other way around. Now go to bed.”

Anita: “He’s the old married woman. You know, she has a mother. Also a father.”

Bernardo: “They do not know this country any better than she does.”

Anita: “And you do not know it at all. Girls here are free to have fun. She is in America now.”

Bernardo: “Puerto Rico is in America now.”

Anita: “Sometimes, I don’t know which is thicker. Your skull or your accent.”

More West Side Story Quotes for Fans of the 2021 Adaptation

25. “Life matters, even more than love.” – Valentina

26. “You have grown into rapists. You dishonor yourselves. You dishonor your dead.” – Valentina

27. “When love is so strong, there’s no right or wrong. Your love is your life.” – Maria and Anita

28. “We can’t pretend what we do doesn’t cause trouble like I’m always just about to fall off the edge of the world’s tallest building. I stopped falling the second I saw you.” – Tony

29. “If you let them take you from me, how do I forgive you for that?” – Maria

30. “You know, I wake up to everything I know either getting sold, or wrecked, or being taken over by people that I don’t like. And they don’t like me. And you know what’s left out of all that? The Jets.” – Riff

Did These West Side Story Quotes Make You More Accepting of Others’ Differences?

A lot of blockbuster movies are closely tied to love and romance. But, aside from this, West Side Story zooms in on other social issues like racism and discrimination.

These problems are nothing new. However, what makes West Side Story so unique is how it pushes us to stand firm amidst our hardships. It also helps us better understand how love and respect should always win over hatred.

Many problems still roam the world today. The only way to end others’ pain is to promote peace, compassion, and kindness. Let’s slowly start changing the world with the lessons we’ve encountered in West Side Story!

With that, we hope these quotes were able to help you reflect on your mindset when it comes to approaching people’s differences. The next time you watch any of the movie adaptations, remember that love should triumph over all! Like your favorite characters, continue fighting against inequality!

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.