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17 Quotes That Capture the Witty Romance of Nora Ephron’s Movies

When it comes to romantic comedies, it’s hard to top the work of Nora Ephron. The journalist-turned-filmmaker’s movies are considered pillars of the genre, celebrated for their charm, wit, and insightful portrayals of love and relationships.

Quintessential classics such as When Harry Met Sally… (1989), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), and You've Got Mail (1998) exude genuine warmth, heartfelt emotion, and relatable humor. The characters feel like trusted friends, and their razor-sharp dialogue has given us a host of memorable one-liners.

Ephron’s movies are deeply resonant as well as entertaining, which is no easy feat. This is thanks to not only her brilliant screenwriting, but also her directorial skills, which deftly handled the complexities of modern romance with a keen and empathetic understanding of the human condition.

These memorable lines from Ephron’s films act as a glimpse into her impeccable sense of humor and her sentimental heart, two qualities that contributed to her truly timeless oeuvre.

Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.
Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) in "You've Got Mail," 1998

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It is so nice when you can sit with someone and not have to talk.
Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) in “When Harry Met Sally…,” 1989

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I don’t want to be someone that you’re settling for. I don’t want to be someone that anyone settles for. Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it, isn’t it?
Walter (Bill Pullman) in “Sleepless in Seattle,” 1993

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You are the butter to my bread. You are the breath to my life.
Paul Child (Stanley Tucci) in “Julie & Julia,” 2009

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You gotta learn to laugh, it's the way to true love.
Michael (John Travolta) in “Michael,” 1996

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The fact that you're not answering leads me to believe you're either (A) not at home, (B) home but don't want to talk to me, or (C) home, desperately want to talk to me, but trapped under something heavy. If it's either (A) or (C), please call me back.
Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) in “When Harry Met Sally…,” 1989

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It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together, and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home, only to no home I’d ever known.
Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) in “Sleepless in Seattle,” 1993

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Do you want the long version or the short version? Keep in mind, the long version is in Aramaic.
Uncle Arthur (Steve Carell) in “Bewitched,” 2005

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When you're attracted to someone, it just means that your subconscious is attracted to their subconscious, subconsciously. So what we think of as fate is just two neuroses knowing that they are a perfect match.
Dennis Reed (David Hyde Pierce) in “Sleepless in Seattle,” 1993

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You see? That is just like you, Harry. You say things like that, and you make it impossible for me to hate you.
Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) in “When Harry Met Sally…,” 1989

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The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee: short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc.
Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) in “You’ve Got Mail,” 1998

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Destiny is something we’ve invented because we can’t stand the fact that everything that happens is accidental.
Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) in “Sleepless in Seattle,” 1993

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I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) in “When Harry Met Sally…,” 1989

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The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.
Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) in “You’ve Got Mail,” 1998

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Just remember that in every pothole there is hope … If you take the P, and add it to the H, the O, and the E, and rearrange the letters, or contrariwise, you remove the O, T, and the L, you get "hope."
Philip (Steve Martin) in “Mixed Nuts,” 1994

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I'm gonna get out of bed every morning, breathe in and out all day long. Then after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out. And then after a while, I won't have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while.
Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) in “Sleepless In Seattle,” 1993

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How about some coffee or, you know, drinks or dinner or a movie, for as long as we both shall live?
Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) in “You’ve Got Mail,” 1998

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Featured image credit: Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

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About the Author
Nicole Villeneuve
Nicole is a writer, thrift store lover, and group-chat meme spammer based in Ontario, Canada.
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