My Favorite Quotes/Conversations From “You’ve Got Mail”

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I remember when I first watched “You’ve Got Mail” with my mom I instantly loved it. You know that feeling you get when you just know a movie’s going to be perfect? Yeah, I got that feeling. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are just wonderful together. They’re so charismatic. They’re funny and light yet deep and emotional. It’s pulled off fantastically. If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend that you do. So, while watching it today, I decided to compile a list of my favorite quotes/conversations from this movie, because, honestly? I just like making lists. And I just think that the quotes/conversations in this movie are worth sharing. And now, without further ado, I present to you a list of My Favorite Quotes/Conversations From “You’ve Got Mail”:

“What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you.”
– Kathleen Kelly

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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. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.” – Joe Fox

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“I guess I’ve read Pride & Prejudice about 100 times and every time I read it I worry that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are not going to get together — but the truth is whenever I think about my favorite book I always think about the books I read as a child.”
– Kathleen Kelly

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“Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void.”
– Kathleen Kelly

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“My mother and I used to twirl.” – Kathleen Kelly to Joe Fox

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Joe Fox: [writing to “Shopgirl”]
Do you ever feel you’ve become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora’s box of all the secret, hateful parts – your arrogance, your spite, your condescension – has sprung open? Someone upsets you and instead of smiling and moving on, you zing them. “Hello, it’s Mr Nasty.” I’m sure you have no idea what I’m talking about.
Kathleen Kelly: [writing to “NY152”] No, I know what you mean, and I’m completely jealous! What happens to me when I’m provoked is that I get tongue-tied and my mind goes blank. Then I spend all night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I should have said. What should I have said, for example, to a bottom dweller who recently belittled my existence?

[stops and thinks]

Kathleen Kelly: [writing]
Nothing. Even now, days later, I can’t figure it out.
Joe Fox: [writing]
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could pass all my zingers to you? And then I would never behave badly and you could behave badly all the time, and we’d both be happy. But then, on the other hand, I must warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows.

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Joe Fox: [a clip on the news]
I sell cheap books, I do. So sue me.
T.V. Reporter: [a clip on the news] And that, in a nutshell, is the Fox Books philosophy.
Joe Fox: Hey!
Kevin: That’s what you said?
Joe Fox: Well… yeah, that’s not *all* I said. I said – aww, I can’t believe those bastards! I said we were great. I said you could sit and read for hours and no one will bother you. I said we have a hundred and fifty thousand titles. I showed them the New York City section. I said we were a goddamn piazza! A place in the city where people can mingle and mix and be.
Kevin: Piazza?
Joe Fox: I was eloquent. SHIT!
Kevin: Piazza…

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“Kevin, this woman is the most adorable creature I have ever come in contact with. If she turns out to be even as good-looking as a mailbox, I will be crazy not to turn my life upside down and marry her.”
– Joe Fox

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Kathleen: As if you were one of the stupid 22-year-old girls with no last name. ‘Hi, I’m Kimberly.’ ‘Hi, I’m Janice.’ Don’t they know you’re supposed to have a last name. It’s like they’re an entire generation of cocktail waitresses.
Joe: Look. I am not a 22-year-old cocktail waitress.
Kathleen: That’s not what I meant.

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“All this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.”
– Kathleen Kelly

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“A hotdog is singing! You need quiet while a hotdog is singing?”
– Frank Navasky

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Frank: What about you? Is there someone else?
Kathleen: [smiling]
No. No. But there is the dream of someone else.

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“Ah, I love daisies. Don’t you think that daisies are the friendliest flower?”
– Kathleen Kelly

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Joe Fox: It wasn’t… personal.
Kathleen Kelly: What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you. But it was personal to me. It’s *personal* to a lot of people. And what’s so wrong with being personal, anyway?
Joe Fox: Uh, nothing.
Kathleen Kelly: Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.

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Joe: [silencing Kathleen]
Now, I can see that I bring out the worst in you, but let me just help you to not say something you’re just gonna torture yourself about for years to come.

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“I could never be with someone who likes Joni Mitchell. ‘It’s clouds’ illusions I recall, I really don’t know clouds at all.’ What does that mean? Is she a pilot? Is she taking flying lessons? It must be a metaphor for something, but I don’t know what it is.”
– Joe Fox

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Joe Fox: You know, sometimes I wonder…
Kathleen Kelly: What?
Joe Fox: Well… if I hadn’t been Fox Books and you hadn’t been The Shop Around the Corner, and you and I had just, well, met…
Kathleen Kelly: I know.
Joe Fox: Yeah. I would have asked for your number, and I wouldn’t have been able to wait twenty-four hours before calling you and saying, “Hey, how about… oh, how about some coffee or, you know, drinks or dinner or a movie… for as long as we both shall live?”
Kathleen Kelly: Joe…
Joe Fox: And you and I would have never been at war. And the only thing we’d fight about would be which video to rent on a Saturday night.
Kathleen Kelly: Well, who fights about that?
Joe Fox: Well, some people. Not us.
Kathleen Kelly: We would never.
Joe Fox: If only.
Kathleen Kelly: [pause] I gotta go.
Joe Fox: Well, let me ask you something. How can you forgive this guy for standing you up and not forgive me for this tiny little thing of… of putting you out of business?
[Kathleen starts to cry]
Joe Fox: Oh, how I wish you would.
Kathleen Kelly: I really have to go.
Joe Fox: Yeah, well you don’t wanna be late.

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10 thoughts on “My Favorite Quotes/Conversations From “You’ve Got Mail”

  1. This is a lovely tribute to one of the best romantic films ever.
    Meg Ryan is a revelation in You’ve Got Mail and each and every time I watch it I discover some new aspect of the character. Kathleen Kelly is erudite, down to earth and has a wicked sense of humour. A lethal combination!

    • I wholeheartedly agree with you! Meg Ryan shines in this movie! Watching her is like watching those ballerinas who make their dancing look so simple, as if they were born standing on their toes. She comes off in such a natural and genuine way. And Kathleen Kelly is such a well-written character. She’s so unapologetically her, it’s great! And Tom Hanks just fits into this equation wonderfully. Joe Fox is a great male lead. I can’t find the words to describe him without sounding cheesy. He feels real, you know? As if you could bump into him at anytime. Both characters feel that way. They’re two individuals that bring out the best in each other, and sometimes the worst, but they make each other better people. It’s not just about him being romantic towards her and all that jazz, it’s more than that. It’s two people who help each other grow without even trying to. Two people who don’t try to make something a thing that it’s not. They don’t try and be romantic, that’s what I like most. They just are! I also like that romance is defined not as grand gestures or love letters or whatever, it’s defined by taking the time to understand someone and to be their friend. And I feel like not many romantic films have that. I feel like I got a bit carried away. And I’m not even sure if what I wrote made any sense. But I certainly do love this movie.

      • What you wrote made perfect sense, and it’s a joy to read when people say what a film means to them, because of their interests and life experience, rather than doing their 55th audition for the local paper’s film pages. That’s what makes your site interesting IMO.

        Are you intending to do any more film related posts?

      • Quite sorry for my late reply (I had a midterm today). Thank you so much for saying so, I do agree that it is a joy to hear and read what people have to say about movies (and things in general) that they like. And I do believe that I will. Do more film related posts, I mean. I love films. I like watching them and reading about them, I like knowing their little tidbits and all. So, I do believe that there will be many more film related posts.

      • The part in the begining where she is wroting the email where she questions her life, adressing him as “dear void”.
        And one of my favorite quotes is : ” All this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings ”

  2. I found this page accidentally today but let me tell you I needed this. It made me immensely happy. I love this movie so much. It is my absolute favorite. I even bought it on iTunes so I could have it on my iPad and iPhone. You never know when you will need it. Thank you for creating this list.

    • Reading your comment makes me feel happy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it means a lot.
      And I completely understand the need to have access to to this movie whenever you like. It just feels so… familiar, and homey. Comfortable. It’s great. And I don’t think it ever gets boring.

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