Let’s call a spade a spade: the Muses were the best part of Disney’s Hercules. Alright, now that that’s out of the way, it’s only fair to also give honorable mention to Philoctetes, Megara, and the hero of the hour, big man Hercules himself. The eighth film in what is known as the Disney renaissance of the ’90s, Hercules was not quite an instant classic like its predecessors, but garnered mostly positive reviews and is still remembered as a beloved animated film from the studio.
Of course, this is Disney so the story of the Greek hero and son of Zeus was watered down and sanitized for younger audiences. (Especially the bit where a perpetually philandering Zeus has an affair that results in the mythical hero of the hour.) Though lacking in any Greek influence, the music and score by Alan Menken is fun and memorable. How could it not? Menken is the musical genius behind other classics like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Mulan. Basically, this man wrote the score to your childhood.
If you’re feeling nostalgic or just want a refresher on the funniest and punniest jokes and quotes from Hercules, we’ve gone ahead and rounded them up below. You’ll go zero to hero with these epic one-liners.
1. “Hey, you need an extra guy?” — Hercules
2. “I would go most anywhere to feel like I belong.” — Hercules
3. “But if you found me, then where did I come from? Why was I left here?” — Hercules
4. “How am I supposed to prove myself a hero if nobody will give me a chance?” — Hercules
5. “I’m a damsel, I’m in distress, I can handle this. Have a nice day.” — Megara
6. “For a true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” — Zeus
7. “Dreams are for rookies.” — Phil
8. “We were so close! So close, we tripped at the finish line.” — Hades
9. “People do crazy things… when they’re in love.” — Megara
10. “I won’t let you down, father!” — Hercules
11. “I will face the world, fearless, proud, and strong…I can go the distance.” — Hercules
12. “I can’t believe this guy! I throw everything I’ve got at him, and it doesn’t even…” — Hades
13. “I didn’t know that playing hooky could be so much fun.” — Hercules
14. “I’ve got 24 hours to get rid of this… bozo, or the entire scheme I’ve been setting up for 18 years goes up in smoke, and YOU ARE WEARING HIS MERCHANDISE?” — Hades
15. Zeus: “So, Hades, you finally made it. How are things in the underworld?”
Hades: “Well, they’re just fine. You know, a little dark, a little gloomy. And, as always, hey, full of dead people. What are you gonna do?”
16. Hercules: “Aren’t you… a damsel in distress?”
Meg: “I’m a damsel, I’m in distress, I can handle this. Have a nice day.”
17. “I’m sorry. You mind runnin’ that by me again? I must have had a chunk of brimstone wedged in my ear or something…” — Hades
18. “Well, you know how men are. They think “No” means “Yes” and “Get lost” means “Take me, I’m yours.” — Meg
19. “Somebody call IX-I-I.” — Panic, Pain
20. “We dance, we kiss, we schmooze, we carry on, we go home happy. What do you say? Come on.” — Hades
21. “For a true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” — Zeus
22. “I’m a big tough girl. I tie my own sandals and everything.” — Meg
23. “Megara. My friends call me Meg; at least they would if I had any friends. So- did they give *you* a name along with all those rippling pectorals?” — Meg
24. “If there’s a prize for rotten judgment/ I guess I’ve already won that/ No man is worth the aggravation/ That’s ancient history, been there, done that!” — Meg
25. I trained all those would-be heroes. Odysseus, Perseus, Theseus. Alotayusses! And every one of those bums let me down flatter than a discus. None of them could go the distance. And then, there was Achilles. Now there was a guy who had it all: the build, the foot-speed. He could jab! He could take a hit! He could keep on comin’! But that forslugginer heel of his! He barely gets nicked there once, and kaboom! He’s history. Yeah, I had a dream once. I dreamed I would train the greatest hero there ever was. So great, the gods would hang a picture of him in the stars for everyone to see. And everyone would say, ‘That’s Phil’s boy.’ That’s right… Ah, but dreams are for rookies. A guy can only take so much disappointment.” — Phil
26. “But, Father, I’ve defeated every single monster I’ve come up against. I-I’m… I’m the most famous person in all of Greece. I’m… I-I’m an action figure!” — Hercules
27. “Name’s Hades, Lord of the dead. Hi, how ya doin’?” — Hades
28. “Fabulous party. You know, I haven’t seen this much love in a room since Narcissus discovered himself.” — Hermes
29. “He’s gotta have a weakness, because everybody’s got a weakness. I mean, for Pandora, it was the box thing. And for the Trojans, hey, they bet on the wrong horse, okay? All we have to do is find out Wonder Boy’s weakness.” — Hades
30. Calliope: We are the Muses, goddesses of the arts and proclaimers of heroes.
Terpsichore: Heroes like Hercules.
Thalia: Honey, you mean “Hunk-ules!” Ooh, I’d like to make some sweet music with him.
Calliope: Our story actually begins long before Hercules was born, many eons ago.
31. “Whoa. Is my hair out?” — Hades
32. “Well, well! It’s a small underworld after all!” — Hades
33. “Wow, what a day. First that restaurant by the bay. And then that… that play… that, that, that Oedipus thing. Man, I thought I had problems.” — Hercules
34. Hades: Ladies! Hah. I am so sorry that I’m…
Fate 1, Fate 2, Fate 3: Late. Fate 1: We knew you would be. Fate 2: We know everything. Fate 1: Past. Fate 2: Present. Fate 3: And future [aside, to Panic] Indoor plumbing. It’s gonna be big.
35. Hades: Meg, my little flower, my little bird, my little nut Meg. What exactly happened here? I thought you were gonna persuade the River Guardian to join my team for the uprising, and now here I am, kind of River Guardian-less.
Meg: I gave it my best shot, but me made me an offer I had to refuse.
36. Hercules: You know, wh-when I was a kid, I-I would have given anything to be exactly like everybody else.
Meg: You wanted to be petty and dishonest? Hercules: Everybody’s not like that. Meg: Yes, they are. Hercules: You’re not like that. Meg: How do you know what I’m like?
37. Hercules: Meg, when I’m with you, I-I don’t feel so alone.
Meg: Sometimes it’s better to be alone. Hercules: What do you mean? Meg: Nobody can hurt you.
38. Zeus: Fine work, my boy! You’ve done it! You’re a true hero.
Hera: You were willing to give your life to rescue this young woman.
39. Meg: Is Wonder Boy here for real?
Phil: What are you talkin’ about? Of course, he’s real. Phil: Whoa! And by the way, sweet cheeks… I’m real, too.
40. “Well, you know how men are. They think no means yes and get lost means take me I’m yours.” — Meg
41. Hades: Brothers! Titans! Look at you in your squalid prison! Who put you down there?
Titans: Zeus! Hades: And now that I set you free, what is the first thing you are going to do? Titans: Destroy him!”
42. “I got a feeling you’re gonna leap at my new offer. You give me the key to bringing down Wonder Breath, and I give you the thing that you crave most in the entire cosmos: your freedom.” — Hades
43. “You might feel just a little queasy. It’s kinda natural. Maybe you should… sit down! Now you know how it feels to be like everyone else. Isn’t it just peachy?” — Hades
44. “You sold your soul to me, to save your boyfriend‘s life. And how does this creep thank you? By running off with some babe. He hurt you real bad, didn’t he, Meg?” — Hades
45. Hades: “Pain. Panic. Got a little riddle for you. How do you kill a god?
Pain: “I do not… know.” Panic: “You can’t… they’re immortal?” Hades: “Bingo, they’re immortal. So the first thing we gotta do is make the little sunspot… mortal.”
46. “I know what I did was wrong, but this isn’t about me, it’s about him. If you don’t help him now, Phil, he’ll die.” — Meg
47. Hercules: “You like making deals. Take me in Meg’s place.”
Hades: “The son of my hatedrival trapped forever in a river of death.”
48. Hercules: “So how’d you get stuck with the…”
Meg: “Pinhead with hooves? Well, you know how men are. They think ‘No’ means ‘Yes’ and ‘Get lost’ means ‘Take me, I’m yours.'”
49. “No kid, giving up is for rookies. I came back because I’m not quitting on you. I’m willing to go the distance. How about you?” — Phil
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