March 21st marks twenty years since the Jim Carrey-centric comedy, Liar Liar hit theaters and received perpetual airings on television every weekend since then. The film follows Fletcher Reede (Carrey), a talented lawyer with an affinity for lying who is cursed when his son wishes that he cannot tell a lie for one whole day. As a lawyer, such a task is virtually impossible for Fletcher to accomplish since his entire livelihood depends on stretching the truth.
Liar Liar tested Carrey’s physical prowess to his absolute limits and it paid off immensely because he – quite literally – beats himself senseless in this role. The film grossed over $300 million worldwide and was a hit for audiences and critics alike. Its sharp humor and hysterical physical comedy continues to entertain audiences twenty years later.
In honor of its 20th anniversary, here are 20 quotes from Liar Liar that still manage to make us howl with laughter.
1. “Stop Breakin’ The Law, Asshole!”
3. “I Hold Myself In Contempt!”
Following Fletcher’s monumental win by utilizing nothing but the truth, he learns he made a huge mistake because his client (Jennifer Tilly) is a money-grubbing insane thing. He refuses to accept the Judge’s verdict and after a threat of being held in contempt of court, a phrase which here means “the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful of a court of law and its officers” and usually requires a fee or stay in prison, Fletcher declares that he holds himself in contempt to the Judge’s dismay. This sequence is an emotional roller coaster since he was being offered a partnership a moment before and was willing to risk it all to express his displeasure at the verdict.
4. Fletcher Explains Why He Was Pulled Over
“Here goes: I sped. I followed too closely. I ran a stop sign. I almost hit a Chevy. I sped some more. I failed to yield at a crosswalk. I changed lanes at the intersection. I changed lanes without signaling while running a red light and speeding!”
Fletcher states all the traffic violations he committed during this sequence and Carrey’s ability to spew all of the above as quickly and hysterically as he does is a testament to his talent. It has also been parodied numerous times including an episode of Family Guy where Peter (Seth MacFarlane) recreates the sequence for his father-in-law.
5. “I’ve Had Better”
This one is self explanatory. Note to sexually-active people: when someone asks how the intercourse was do not say, “I’ve had better.” Carrey’s facial expression when he realizes what he said, and disbelief at saying it, in the subsequent scene is wonderfully executed.
6. “I’m A Little Upset About A Bad Sexual Episode I Had Last Night”
Fletcher is still unaware of Max’s wish so he can’t understand why he keeps revealing what he truly thought about his “sexual episode” with a partner. It is delivered so well that it makes you do a double take and ask, “Did he really say that?”
7. “I’m Kicking My Ass, Do You Mind?!”
Here is a perfect example of Carrey’s ability to physically harm himself on screen and make it insanely enjoyable to watch. An unsuspecting man walks into the court bathroom and sees a crazed man beating himself up. Fletcher is nice enough to assure him that this is exactly what it looks like.
8. “Your Honor, I Would Like a Continuance!”
Fletcher’s growing frustration is apparent when he asks for a continuance for the case when it has already been delayed numerous times. He pleads to the Judge to accept another delay and is asked why he wants the case to go on any further than it already has which leads to the next iconic line…
9. “I… Can’t… Lie!”
10. “I Mean… Your Boobs Are Huge”
Fletcher rightfully gets punched in the face for his attempt at calming the woman he sexually harassed. This sequence is as funny as it is because his initial statement to the beautiful woman in the elevator when she says everyone has been nice to her is, “that’s ’cause you got big jugs.” “Your boobs are huge” is his hilarious reply when attempting to defuse the situation and it only gets more horrendous with every subsequent word.
11. “It Was Me!”
We know it was you, Fletcher. We always do.
12. “The Pen Is Blue”
Now this sequence is arguably the most famous in the entire film. Fletcher wrestles with himself to prove that the pen he is holding in his hand is red but the strength of Max’s wish doesn’t allow him to state even that minuscule of a lie. This is Carrey at his absolute best and what he manages to accomplish with that scene is sheer brilliance.
13. “I’d Have Got Him Ten”
Greta has been a loyal staff member for years, however when Fletcher’s past lies caught up to him, she decided to take her plant and get out of there. There was the briefest moment of contemplation where she may have stayed following the story of a burglar suing her friend, unfortunately Fletcher’s declaration that he would’ve got the burglar $10,000 instead of the $6000 (rightfully) rubbed her the wrong way.
14. “I Don’t Even Like Her, But She’s A Partner And I Thought I Could Help My Career By Making Her Squeal”
Fletcher’s sexual encounter gets funnier as the film progresses. He promised to spend time with son – a promise he makes often, yet rarely keeps – and when he tells his ex, Audrey (Maura Tierney) that he was having sex the night of Max’s birthday, she sarcastically says she hopes it was with someone special. His response to her contains a rhyme Dr. Seuss himself would have loved. At least we know he doesn’t really like her and only had sex to further his career.
15. “A Madman, Your Honor! A Desperate Fool At The End Of His Pitiful Rope”
Fletcher technically isn’t lying about getting beaten up by a “madman” who truly is “at the end of his pitiful rope” since he is referring to himself. When the Judge asks what the assailant looked like, Fletcher humorously describes himself to a tee, down to the large teeth and all:
“About 6’2, 180 lbs, big teeth, kind of gangly.”
16. “I’m Jose Canseco!”
For those unfamiliar with who Jose Canseco is, he was a popular baseball player from the 1980s to 2001. He was notoriously known throughout his career for his various legal troubles and anger. In 1992 he was charged with aggravated battery for allegedly ramming his then-wife Esther’s BMW with his Porsche. In the film, Fletcher and Max bond over baseball and Fletcher lovingly refers to himself as “Jose Canseco.”
So one can assume seeing a man who has just been held in contempt of court shouting “I’m Jose Canseco!” can only mean bad news. Carrey’s final moment peering out the door is yet another example of the brilliant performance he gives in Liar Liar.
17. Fletcher’s Objection
Fletcher: “Your honor, I object!”
Judge: “And why is that, Mr. Reede?”
Fletcher: “Because it’s devastating to my case!”
This brief moment is my personal favorite of the entire film. Fletcher just seems so defeated when he states “your honor” and his truthful declaration of what he thinks of this cheating revelation between his client and her boyfriend is something I’m certain many people think when they are utterly fucked in a professional situation, however they are unable to say it.
18. Fletcher Introduces Max To A Prospective Career
Max Reede: “If I keep making this face… will it get stuck that way?”
Fletcher: “Uh uh. As a matter of fact, some people make a very good living that way.”
Fletcher Reede gets meta in this exchange. Prior to Liar Liar, Carrey made his name with countless impressions and rocking wacky faces that he excelled in and managed to make his living with.
19. “Thank You Very Much?”
Jerry: “I love you!”
Audrey: “… Thank you”
Jerry: “That wasn’t exactly the answer I was looking for”
Audrey: “… Thank you very much?”
Oh God, poor Jerry (Cary Elwes)… He really should have ended his adoration proclamation with “As You Wish.”
As Fletcher is frolicking around on the airstrip because this was the 1990s, Audrey, Max and her boyfriend are setting off to move to Boston. Jerry is actually a really supportive boyfriend and seems to care for Max so her thanking him when he prematurely says he loves her only furthers the uncomfortable factor of the entire scene. Her pounding down the drinks also isn’t helping anyone think straight in this situation.
20. “I Wish That For Only One Day, Dad Couldn’t Tell A Lie”
Children’s birthday wishes in movies seem to be the only definitive way to get whatever you want regardless of how crazy it may seem. As Fletcher states in the film, it’s “one of those 24 hour curses” however it truly feels way longer because of all the antics that occur in Liar Liar. Max wasting his one birthday wish on his father to quit lying breaks your heart a bit because although he loves his son, Fletcher is just too darn busy to spend time with his family.