9 Life Lessons from the Best 'Dirty Dancing' Quotes

'Dirty Dancing' opened in theaters all across America on August 21, 1987, and made us "have the time of our lives." To celebrate the movie's 30th anniversary, we uncovered some invaluable lessons through the film's best lines.
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Dirty Dancing Photo

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in 'Dirty Dancing.' 

On August 21, 1987 the world would never look at their hips the same way again. When Dirty Dancing hit theaters, the low-budget-film-turned-box-office-jackpot gave birth to an era of sensuous bumping and grinding like there had never been before. Dance soared all across America! Everyone ransacked their closest T.J. Maxx for a pair of crisp, white Keds! And adults held onto their silverware and pocketbooks when granny and gramps planned for a visit!

Dirty Dancing made Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze mega stars and also carved out a special place for itself in pop culture history. Set in the 1960s at a family friendly resort in upstate New York, the simple storyline of young rebellious love amid the Haves and the Have Nots, interwoven with complex choreography, proved too irresistible a formula for moviegoers to visit theaters only once. The result? Dirty Dancing became one of the highest-grossing films of 1987.

To celebrate swaying like Swayze, we pulled some of the best life lessons from our favorite Dirty Dancing quotes. (And if you don't agree... well, we suggest you do what Baby's sister did: "You can wackle all you wanna, you can wackle while we walk away..." )

LIFE LESSON #1: You gotta let loose sometimes

"Oh, come on, ladies. God wouldn't have given you maracas if He didn't want you to shake 'em!" -Penny

LIFE LESSON #2: Be professional when you're called to do so

"Look, spaghetti arms. This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don't go into yours, you don't go into mine. You gotta hold the frame." -Johnny

LIFE LESSON #3: Be honest

"I carried a watermelon." -Baby

LIFE LESSON #4: Know your place within a group

"Go back to your playpen, Baby." -Penny

LIFE LESSON #5: Be encouraging whenever you can

Johnny: "What's your real name, Baby?"
Baby: "Frances. For the first woman in the cabinet."
Johnny: "Frances. That's a real grown up name."

LIFE LESSON #6: Don't leave a mess for others to clean up

"You just put your pickle on everybody’s plate, college boy, and leave the hard stuff to me." -Johnny

LIFE LESSON #7: The ways of the world don't always make sense... and that's just the way it is

"You don’t understand the way it is, I mean for somebody like me. Last month, I’m-I-I’m eating Jujubes to keep alive, this month women are stuffing diamonds in my pockets." -Johnny

LIFE LESSON #8: Be vulnerable even when it hurts

"Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you." -Baby

LIFE LESSON #9: Know your true value

"Nobody puts Baby in a corner." -Johnny