12 of Our Favorite Quotes from 'Steel Magnolias'

This week marks the 25th anniversary of our favorite Southern all-female 80s cast, 'Steel Magnolias.' So pull out your big hair and let's stroll down memory lane with these fun quotes from the star-studded cast.
Steel Magnolias Photo

Tom Skerritt (as daddy Drum) and Julia Roberts (as daughter Shelby) in 'Steel Magnolias.' (Photo: Photofest)

Okay, so Steel Magnolias is unequivocally a chick flick (exacerbated by a Pepto-Bismol colored wedding and all), BUT it's one of those chick flicks you can't help but be proud of loving. 

And who could blame ya'll? The 1989 feel-good film has got all the fixins: charm, racy Southern humor, and a blinding star-studded cast — Sally Field (as overprotective mother extraordinaire M'Lynn), Julia Roberts (as the blushing bride Shelby), Shirley MacLaine (as crotchety Ouiser), Olympia Dukakis (as hilarious, heartburn-inducing Clairee), Dolly Parton (as syrupy sweet salon owner Truvy), and Daryl Hannah (as mousey-turned-evangelical Annelle). 

Together these ladies celebrate the life-affirming power that love and friendship can have over the blessings and tragedies of life. 

So without further ado, 'Drink your juice,' and toast to these memorable quotes...


Truvy: I kind of like hiring somebody with a past. 
Clairee: She can't be more than eighteen. She hasn't had time to have a past.
Truvy: Oh get with it, Clairee. This is the eighties. If you can achieve puberty, you can achieve a past.


Ouiser: I do not see plays, because I can nap at home for free. And I don't see movies 'cause they're trash, and they got nothin' but naked people in 'em! And I don't read books, 'cause if they're any good, they're gonna make 'em into a miniseries.


Shelby: Well, we went skinny dipping and we did things that frightened the fish.


Ouiser: I'm not crazy, M'Lynn, I've just been in a very bad mood for 40 years!


Truvy: Sammy’s so confused he don’t know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt.


Shelby: I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.

Steel Magnolias Photo

The cast of 'Steel Magnolias.' (Photo: Photofest)


Ouiser: The only reason people are nice to me is because I have more money than God.


Clairee: The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.


Ouiser: Yes, Annelle, I pray! Well, I do! There, I said it, I hope you're satisfied.
Annelle: I suspected this all along!
Ouiser: Oh! Well don't you expect me to come to one of your churches or one of those tent-revivals with all those Bible-beaters doin' God-only-knows-what! They'd probably make me eat a live chicken!
Annelle: Not on your first visit!
Clairee: Very good, Annelle! You've spoken like a true smart-ass!


Clairee: You know, you would be a much more contented, pleasant person if you would find ways to occupy your time.
Ouiser: I'm pleasant. Damn it! I saw Drum Eatenton at the Piggly Wiggly this morning, and I smiled at the son of a bitch 'fore I could help myself.


Ouiser: You are evil, and you must be destroyed.
Clairee: Mother Nature's taking care of that faster than you could.


M'Lynn: I just sat there. I just held Shelby's hand. There was no noise, no tremble, just peace. Oh god. I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life.