Say That! 7 of Angela Bassett’s Best Movie Lines

July 25, 2012  |  
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Lord knows Angela Bassett can deliver the mess out of a line. Whether she’s playing the battered woman, the maternal figure, or a snobby housewife, Angela always makes you believe in her portrayal. Check out her best lines over the years.


Bernadine to John Sr.  in Waiting to Exhale

John: Oh by the way, I’m coming to pick up my kids on Saturday.
Bernadine: Yeah?
And if I hear you had em anywhere near that tramp bi**h, you’re gonna regret it for the rest of your life!

It’s one thing to be pissed at your unfaithful husband; but you can’t rightfully keep him away from his children, even if he is morally bankrupt. Bernie recognized this but at the same time she wasn’t about to have her soon-to-be ex husband parading his new woman in front of their children. And with this line, we think she made that perfectly clear.

Katherine Jackson to Joe Jackson in The Jackson 5: An American Dream

“You’re a liar, and you’re a cheat, and I don’t want you. No, I don’t want you, I don’t want you, I don’t want you, I don’t want you, I don’t want you no more.

Joe’s character was such a slimy dog in this movie. Katherine hung in there through a lot of his foolishness; but once she’d had enough, she snapped. When she throws herself on top of him on the couch, we were hoping she was going to inflict just a bit more damage. Is anybody else surprised that these two are still “legally” together?

Bernadine in the Closet

“Guess what John, you’re the motherf**king improper influence! Get yo’  Shyte, get yo Shyte and get out!”

If there was one scene that accurately illustrates that range of pain and suffering Angela is able to express in a scene, this is it. She nails this! There’s a reason why black women watch this movie and give their men a slight side eye. She had us thinking, “I wish [insert your man’s name here] would do something like that.” Some of you have got this entire scene memorized but go ahead and watch again for old time’s sake. This is a baaadd woman right here.


Mrs. Watson in Jumping the Broom
“Life is like a disco, no matter how the music changes, you just keep on dancing.”

This line is not as strong as some of Angela’s others but we like the sentiment it expresses. Playing Mrs. Watson, it seemed like Angela was completely faultless but as the movie progressed we started to see the skeletons in her closet too.


Gloria: Bernie, this is the stupidest move you’ve made yet. Just because you’re upset with your husband.

Bernie: I love you, Gloria, but I’m not gonna debate this with you, all right? I’m not here for a lecture.

Gloria: Bernie, I’ve been doing your hair for 11 eleven years. One ignorant move by your husband uh-huh, yes.

Gloria: You’re gonna come in here and chop off all your hair?

Bernie: Yes-yes.

Gloria:  I’m not doing this.

Bernie: What is the big deal– just cut it, Gloria.

Gloria” No, I’m not doing it. You gonna wake up tomorrow—

Bernie: You’re not gonna do it? Fine, I’ll do it myself. I’ll do it myself. fine, fine.

People might not have considered this scene to be particularly memorable but I found it especially important because of the very real attachment black women have to our hair. It was empowering to see Bernie say eff it all because she had more important things to focus on.

Tina Turner to Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It?

“That’s your best shot? You can’t do no better than that? Come on, Come on!”

Despite its brutality, this was one of my favorite scenes from this movie, because it finally showed Tina fighting back. Ripping off Ike’s facial hair?! Classic. We didn’t expect Tina to win this battle but we were just happy she was finally giving Ike a run for his money.

Tina Turner to Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It

“I got a room full of people, who come to see me. You hear me Ike? Come to see me. So what do you wanna do? I don’t know, shoot me? Pistol whip me?… Umm hmm.”

We love this final scene! Tina had finally gotten her power back and there was nothing Ike could do to intimidate her anymore. Even though he had a gun, she was mentally beyond his abuse. So powerful.

What did we miss? What are your favorite Angela Bassett lines?

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  • BiddyB

    Love it! Or did you think we made babies by ourselves? Boyz n the hood my favorite movie!

  • Stephan Baker

    what an awesome woman!

  • Delores

    I laugh every time I see The Jacksons, an American Dream and she (Katherine Jackson) told Joe to “Go to bed, Joseph! Go. To. BED!” Damn… that ish makes me laugh LOUD every time!!! She was sick o his ish!!!! and it came THROUGH when she said that. LOL

  • Another one “whats love got to do with it” tina comes home from a suicide attempt by herself and ike has all these demands and tina says “sure ike is there anything else i can do for you” …still committed

  • What about the line in boys n the hood. When she told her babys daddy…no sit ur a** down women have been doing this from the beginning of time hummm you not special you might be cute but special… Drinking on her cafe ole and then says drink up its on me.. gotta luv it! I think thats my favorite

  • Wait I think we all forgot about Angie B in Boyz N the Hood. Ya’ll remember this…

    “Yes, his father. Or did you think we made babies by ourselves?”
    “I said sit your a** down before I raise my voice and make a fool out of both of us!”

    “What you did is no different from what women have been doing since the beginning of time. It’s just a shame more men dont do the same. But don’t think you’re special. You may be cute, but not special. Drink your Café au lait, its on me.”

  • wlknluv

    i love angela basset

  • gabrielle916

    Just watched waiting to exhale last night and was thinking of how wonderful and talented Ms. Bassett is. She does deserve some major recognition.

  • I knew this would b one of the lines…..can soooo c myself having a Bernie moment lol.

  • EA

    I love Angela’s portrayal of Betty Shabazz in Malcolm X, when she tells Denzel to “open his eyes.”

    • “Open your eyes, you can look death in the face 24 hours a day but the possibility of betrayal never enters your head? Open your eyes.”

      Whew, I forgot about that one. YESSS!!! Like Whitney said to Angie back in the day, “Like I can bend a note, you can bend a line!”

  • best scene ever is the Closet scene from Waiting to Exhale! Love it and shows that a woman scorned is something to be be reckoned with ha!

  • Ashley

    I looooove her. She seems so natural!!

  • LADi

    My favorite is #7 – to Ike in “What’s Love Got to Do With It!” She lets him know that he can’t do sh_t to her NO MO!!!

    • When she tells Ike to go straight to hell…. I shout “Tell him, Angie!” at the TV every time on that one!!!

  • IllyPhilly

    It’s the way she says it. She can make Puff, puff, pass sound profound.

  • HoneyDip

    Baaaaby!! That closet scene in Waiting to Exhale touched me deep down in my soul as a woman. Talk about classic!

  • BAddvixentype

    She Is A Genius.
    I absoluetly love her. She is my favorite Actress and im really bothered by the fact that she has yet to get an Oscar.

    • Just saying!!

      Preach!!! I’ve been waiting for an Oscar for this woman for forever!! Upset that he has yet to see one or even a nomination for that matter (that I know of).

    • Just saying!!

      Preach!!! I’ve been waiting for an Oscar for this woman for forever!! Upset that he has yet to see one or even a nomination for that matter (that I know of).

      • me!!!!!

        more deserving of an oscar than any other actress out there the woman is bad!!! i love her

    • Stephan Baker

      White Hollywood for ya!

  • This is an awesome post! Bravo! Angela Bassett has some of the best lines ever delivered in film. She says every syllable like its poetry. ♥ A true thespian. Only thing I’d say you missed are her lines in Strange Days as Mace.

    “Dont be just using the time I’m talking to be thinking about what you gon’ say next. You listenin’ Lenny?” and of course,
    “Memories are meant to fade. They’re designed that way for a reason.”

    Somebody needs to right her some worthy roles and get her back on screen in a significant way, asap!