Real Life Ranch Wife

Quotable (Movie) Cowboys

From John Wayne to Val Kilmer, these Hollywood movie cowboys are fun to quote from their classic movies that tell stories of the old West.

From John Wayne to Val Kilmer, these Hollywood cowboys are fun to quote.


“Slap some bacon on a biscuit! We’re burnin’ daylight!”

I like this quote from John Wayne’s 1972 movie “The Cowboys” so much that I included it in my book, “Never Burn Your Moving Boxes.” It’s full of get-up-and-go energy. It makes me want to eat breakfast meat and carbohydrates, then jump up and try new stuff. It makes me smile, which is ironic because I don’t think John Wayne smiled once in his role as Wil Anderson. He sure had a lot of green cowboys but not many smiles. Maybe there’s a connection between the two.

“Get on your horse, Jasper! We got cattle to drive!”

This classic line from the 1989 miniseries “Lonesome Dove” has, unfortunately, been said to me more than once. Sometimes, I get nervous and double-check my cinches, reset my saddle and adjust my curb strap when I should be swinging a leg over and riding off with confidence. All this fiddling around tends to make me the last cowboy on the crew mounted up, which does not help my nerves. Oh, well — something to work on.

“Get in the car, Lane!”

This is how I feel every time I get in the truck with my kids. They can race to the rodeo toy section of the feed store so fast their boots don’t even touch the floor, but they move so slowly when it’s time to get in the truck that sometimes I fear they are actually going backward. I’m not sure why it takes 45 minutes to climb into a Ford F-150, but by golly, sometimes my youngest child can really relate to Lane Frost in the 1994 film “Eight Seconds.” Which makes sense because he watches that movie at least three times a week.

Also, now I know how the cowboy crew feels when they wait on me: irritated but slightly amused.

“I’m your huckleberry.”

Of course, Doc Holliday said this in the 1993 movie “Tombstone.” I think we’ve all used this line from time to time — sometimes to be clever and other times unsettling, which captures Doc’s whole vibe in the movie.

“You gonna do somethin’? Or are you just gonna stand there and bleed?”

Wyatt Earp said this in “Tombstone,” but it’s also how my husband says I treat him every time he is injured. He claims I am an unsympathetic woman. He’s wrong, though — I’m always the one who suggests he take a trip to the ER for flesh wounds, and he’s the one who always declines.

This is how he says I act toward him when he has a Man Cold and can barely lift a shoeing hammer. He thinks I’m uncaring, even though I tell him to cough in between driving each nail so he doesn’t draw blood — on my horse.  

Also, I think I could include almost every line from “Tombstone” on this list.

“We’re in the West—the West is where you make your own luck.”

Major Marquis Warren, played by Samuel L. Jackson, said this line in the 2015 movie, “The Hateful Eight.” I haven’t seen this movie, but now I want to watch it based on this quote alone. It was true in the Old West, and it’s true in the newer West.

What are your favorite cowboy movie quotes? Share some in the comments!

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