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