Joe Fox
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Quotes for
Joe Fox (Character)
from You've Got Mail (1998)

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You've Got Mail (1998)
Joe Fox: I like Patricia. I *love* Patricia. Patricia makes *coffee* nervous.

Joe Fox: What happened with that guy at the cafe?
Kathleen Kelly: Nothing.
Joe Fox: But you're crazy about him.
Kathleen Kelly: Yes, I am.
Joe Fox: Well, why don't you run off with him? What are you waiting for?
Kathleen Kelly: I don't actually know him.
[cringes]
Joe Fox: Really?
Kathleen Kelly: I only know him through the, uh... you're not going to believe this...
Joe Fox: Oh, let me guess. Through the Internet?
Kathleen Kelly: Yes.
Joe Fox: Hmm. You've... got mail.
Kathleen Kelly: Yes!
Joe Fox: Some very powerful words.
Kathleen Kelly: Yes...

Joe Fox: "The Godfather" is the I Ching. "The Godfather" is the sum of all wisdom. "The Godfather" is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? "Leave the gun, take the cannoli." What day of the week is it? "Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday."

Joe Fox: 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: [on the new Fox Books superstore] Hey, you know what? We should announce ourselves to the neighborhood. Just let them know, here we come.
Kevin: Oh, no, this is the Upper West Side, man. We might as well tell 'em we're opening up a crack house. They're gonna hate us. Soon as they hear, they're gonna be lining up...
Joe Fox, Kevin: - to picket the big bad chain store...
Kevin: - that's out to destroy...
Joe Fox: - everything they hold dear.
Kevin: Yeah.
Joe Fox: Do you know what? We are going to seduce them. We're going to seduce them with our square footage, and our discounts, and our deep armchairs, and...
Joe Fox, Kevin: Our cappuccino.
Joe Fox: That's right. They're going hate us at the beginning, but...
Joe Fox, Kevin: But we'll get 'em in the end.
Joe Fox: Do you know why?
Kevin: Why?
Joe Fox: Because we're going to sell them cheap books and legal addictive stimulants. In the meantime, we'll just put up a big sign: "Coming soon: a FoxBooks superstore and the end of civilization as you know it."

Schuyler Fox: Your father is getting married.
Joe Fox: Really?
Nelson Fox: Yes.
Joe Fox: Congratulations.
Nelson Fox: Thank you.
Joe Fox: Why?
Nelson Fox: Who knows?
Joe Fox: Love?
Nelson Fox: Possible.

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 want to be late.

Joe Fox: [about a sculpture on Nelson Fox's desk] Porcelain?
Nelson Fox: Rubber.

Joe Fox: [refering to Kathleen Kelly] Oh, no, she's beautiful, but she's a pill.

Joe Fox: Tweaking? A project that needs "tweaking"?
Kathleen Kelly: Yes.
Joe Fox: T-w-e-a-k-i-n-g.
Kathleen Kelly: -i-n-g. That's what he said.
Joe Fox: I think he's married. Married, three kids.

Kathleen Kelly: I could never be with someone who has a boat.
Joe Fox: I have a boat.
Kathleen Kelly: Oh.
Joe Fox: Which clinches it; we'll never be together.

Joe Fox: [about Kathleen's internet friend] He could be anyone! It could be that guy right there! And those flowers could be for you!

Joe Fox: [speaking to the grumpy cashier] Happy Thanksgiving... it's your turn to say Happy Thanksgiving back.
Rose, Zabars Cashier: Happy Thanksgiving back.

Joe Fox: I think you'd discover a lot of things if you really knew me.
Kathleen Kelly: If I really knew you, I know what I would find. Instead of a brain, a cash register. Instead of a heart, a bottom line.
[gasps]
Joe Fox: What?
Kathleen Kelly: I just had a breakthrough.
Joe Fox: What is it?
Kathleen Kelly: I have you to thank for it. For the first time in my life, when confronted with a horrible, insensitive person, I knew exactly what I wanted to say and I said it!
Joe Fox: Well, I think you have the gift for it. That was a perfect blend of poetry and meanness.

Joe Fox: My father's getting married again. For the past five years he's been living with a woman named Gillian, who studied decorating at Caesar's Palace.

Joe Fox: Kevin, this is possibly the most adorable creature I've ever been in contact with, and if she turns out to be as good looking as a mailbox... I would be crazy enough to turn my life upside down and marry her.

Joe Fox: [on Kathleen's missing date] So who is he, I wonder? Certainly not, I gather, the world's greatest living expert on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. But somebody else entirely different. Will you be mean to him, too?
Kathleen Kelly: No, I will not. Because the man who is coming here tonight is completely unlike you. The man who is coming here tonight is kind and funny, he has the most wonderful sense of humor...
Joe Fox: But... he's not here.
Kathleen Kelly: Well... if he's not here, he has a reason, because there is not a cruel or careless bone in his body. But I wouldn't expect you to understand anybody like that. You with your theme park, multi-level, homogenize-the-world mochaccino land. You've deluded yourself into thinking that you're some sort of benefactor, bringing books to the masses. But no one will ever remember you, Joe Fox. And maybe no one will remember me, either, but plenty of people remember my mother, and they think she was fine, and they think her store was something special. You are nothing but a suit!
[pause]
Joe Fox: [gets up, crestfallen] That's my cue.

Nelson Fox: You know, I stayed on this boat after... let's see, your mother... Laurette, the ballet dancer...
Joe Fox: My nanny.
Nelson Fox: She was the nanny?
Joe Fox: Yeah.
Nelson Fox: [laughs] I forgot that. How ironic. Then there was the ice skater.
Joe Fox: Also my nanny.
Nelson Fox: Really?
Joe Fox: Yeah.
Nelson Fox: That's amazingly ironic. And then there was Sybil, the... um... it's an "A" word...
Joe Fox: Astrologer.
Nelson Fox: Exactly. Yeah.
Joe Fox: Whose moon turned out to be in someone else's house, as I recall.
Nelson Fox: Just like Gillian.
Joe Fox: Gillian ran off with someone?
Nelson Fox: The nanny.
Joe Fox: Nanny Maureen?
Nelson Fox: Yes.
Joe Fox: [Joe bursts out laughing] Well! Gillian ran off with Nanny Maureen, hmm?
Nelson Fox: You got it.
Joe Fox: That's *incredibly* ironic.

Annabelle Fox: Oh, that's not my Dad. That's my *nephew*.
Kathleen Kelly: You know, I don't really think that HE could be your nephew.
Joe Fox: No, no, no, it's true. Annabelle is my - *aunt*. Isn't that right, Aunt Annabelle?
Annabelle Fox: Uh-huh, and Matt is his...
Kathleen Kelly: Oh wait, wait, wait, let me guess. Are you his uncle?
Matthew Fox: No.
Kathleen Kelly: His grandfather?
[Matt giggles, as he shakes his head]
Kathleen Kelly: His great-grandfather?
Matthew Fox: [laughing] I'm his brother!
Joe Fox: [answering Kathleen's very confused look] Matthew is my father's son, Annabelle is my *grandfather's* daughter. We are... an American family.

Kathleen Kelly: I love daisies.
Joe Fox: You told me.
Kathleen Kelly: They're so friendly. Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?

Joe Fox: So what's his handle?
Kathleen Kelly: Uh...
Joe Fox: I'm not going to write him. Is that what you're worried about? You think I'm going to e-mail him?
Kathleen Kelly: [beat] All right, NY152.
Joe Fox: N-Y-one-five-two. One hundred and fifty-two. He's a hundred and fifty-two years old. He's had one hundred and fifty-two moles removed, so now he's got one hundred fifty-two pock marks on his... on his face...
Kathleen Kelly: The number of people who think he looks like Clark Gable.
Joe Fox: One hundred and fifty-two people who think he looks like a Clark *Bar*.
Kathleen Kelly: [laughing] Why did I even tell you about this?
Joe Fox: A hundred and fifty-two stitches from his nose job. The number of his souvenir shot glasses that he's collected in his travels.
Kathleen Kelly: No! The number... the numb... his address? No! No, he would never do anything that prosaic.

Kathleen Kelly: [on learning Joe's identity] God, I didn't... I didn't realize. I didn't... I didn't know...
Joe Fox: Who you were with? "I didn't know who you were with."
Kathleen Kelly: Excuse me?
Joe Fox: It's from "The Godfather".
[laughs]
Joe Fox: Sorry, it's from "The Godfather". It's when the... uh, when the movie producer realizes that Tom Hagen is an emissary of Vito Corleone. It's just before the horse's head ends up in the bed with all the bloody sheets, you know, wakes up and it's... AAHH! AAAHH! AAAHH! AAAHH!
[pause]
Joe Fox: Never mind.

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.

Veronica Grant: [trapped in the elevator] If I ever get of here, I'm gonna start speaking to my mama. I wonder what she's doing right this very minute.
Charlie: If I ever get of here... I'm marrying Oreet. I love her. I should marry her. I don't know what's been stopping me.
Patricia Eden: [rummaging through her purse] If I ever get out of here, I'm having my eyes lasered.
Joe Fox: If I ever get out of here...
Patricia Eden: Where are my Tic-Tacs? Ugh!
[pause]
Patricia Eden: What?

Joe Fox: Brinkley is my dog. He loves the streets of New York as much as I do, although he likes to eat bits of pizza and bagels off the sidewalk and I prefer to buy them.

Kevin: The electrical contractor called. His truck hit a deer last night, so he's not going to be here until tomorrow. And the upstairs shelves are delayed because the shipment of pine we ordered has beetles.
Joe Fox: Very good. *Very* good.
Kevin: And we got a fifty-thousand dollar ticket for construction workers peeing off the roof.
Joe Fox: Great, that is great!

Joe Fox: 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. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.

Joe Fox: Hey, this... this fabric on the couch, what is it? Does it have a name?
Nelson Fox: Money.
Joe Fox: Huh?
Nelson Fox: Its name is *money*.
Joe Fox: Ah, Gillian selected it.

Nelson Fox: How much son? How much you payin'?
Joe Fox: Well, whatever it costs it won't be as much as that exquisitely uncomfortable mohair episode there, which is NOW ALL OVER MY SUIT.

Annabelle Fox: Maureen's getting a divorce.
Joe Fox: Oh. I'm sorry to hear that.
Maureen: [giggling] It's my own fault. Never marry a man who lies.
Joe Fox: That is so wise, yes. Annabelle, remember that.

Joe Fox: I'm sure you must be late for something: volunteering at the Henry Street Settlement, or rolling bandages for Bosnian Refugees.
Gillian Quinn: I am. I'm having my eggs harvested.
Joe Fox: And getting those eggs harvested.

Nelson Fox: Perfect. Keep those West-Side liberal nuts, psudo-intellectuals...
Joe Fox: Readers, Dad. They're called readers.
Nelson Fox: Don't do that, son. Don't romanticize them.

George Pappas: The, uh, illustrations are hand tipped.
Joe Fox: And that's why it costs so much?
George Pappas: No, that's why it's WORTH so much.

Joe Fox: Is it about love?
[voice over]
Joe Fox: Please say no.
Kathleen Kelly: No.
[voice over]
Kathleen Kelly: How sweet is that?

Joe Fox: Whatever you do, just don't listen to anything I say.

Frank Navasky: Joe Fox?
Joe Fox: F-O-X.
Frank Navasky: The inventor of the superstore, of course. The enemy of the mid-list novel, the destroyer of City Books. Tell me something: really, how do you sleep at night?
Patricia Eden: [walking up] Ah, I use a wonderful over-the-counter drug, Ultradorm. Don't take the whole thing, just half, and you will wake up without even the tiniest hangover.

Joe Fox: [in Kathleen's store, buying books] May I ask who you are?
Kathleen Kelly: Kathleen Kelly, and this is my store. And you are?
Joe Fox: [quickly] Joe. Just call me Joe. We'll take these books.

Joe Fox: [about "NY152"] Maybe he's fat. He's fat. He's a fatty.
Kathleen Kelly: I don't care about that.
Joe Fox: You don't care that he's so fat, he's one of these guys that has to be removed from his house by a crane? You don't care?
Kathleen Kelly: [snickering] That is very unlikely. That is completely ridiculous.

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 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...

Joe Fox: [about "Shopgirl"] I hope she doesn't have one of those high, squeaky voices like the mice in "Cinderella". I hate that.

Joe Fox: Mr. 152 Felony indictments.
Kathleen Kelly: Mr. 152 insights into my soul.
Joe Fox: Oh yeah. No competing with that.

Kathleen Kelly: Wow, I keep on bumping into you.
Joe Fox: Yeah.
Kathleen Kelly: I hope your mango's ripe.
Joe Fox: I think it is. Hey, you want to bump into me on, say, Saturday around lunchtime? Over there?

Nelson Fox: I just have to meet someone new, that's all. That's the easy part.
Joe Fox: Oh right, yeah, a snap to find the one single person in the world who fills your heart with joy.
Nelson Fox: Well, don't be ridiculous. Have I ever been with anyone who fit that description? Have you?

Kevin: [At Cafe Lalo, spying on "Shopgirl"] You know what? She looks... I mean, she almost has the same coloring as... that Kathleen Kelly person.
Joe Fox: Kathleen Kelly with the little bookstore?
Kevin: Well, why not? You said you thought she was attractive.
Joe Fox: Absolutely, yes, why not. Who cares about Kathleen Kelly?
Kevin: Well... if you don't like Kathleen Kelly, I can tell you right now... you ain't gonna like this girl.
Joe Fox: Why not?
Kevin: Because it *is* Kathleen Kelly.

Joe Fox: I brought you flowers.
Kathleen Kelly: Oughhh... thank you.

[last lines]
Joe Fox: Don't cry, Shopgirl. Don't cry.
Kathleen Kelly: I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly.

Kathleen Kelly: Why did you stop by again? I forget.
Joe Fox: I wanted to be your friend.
Kathleen Kelly: Oh.
Joe Fox: I knew it wasn't... possible. What can I say, sometimes a guy just wants the impossible.

Kathleen Kelly: I thought all that Fox stuff was so charming. F-O-X.
Joe Fox: Well, I didn't *lie* about it.
Kathleen Kelly: "Joe"? "Just call me Joe"? As if you were one of those 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 Fox: [holding a drink] I better go deliver this. I have a very thirsty date. She's part camel.

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.
[hesitates]
Joe Fox: [writing] Do you think we should meet?
Kathleen Kelly: [out loud] Meet? Oh my God...
[slams laptop shut]

Joe Fox: 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: [writing to "Shopgirl"] I came home tonight and got into the elevator to go to my apartment. An hour later, I got out of the elevator, and Brinkley and I moved out. Suddenly, everything had become clear. It's a long story, full of the personal details we avoid so carefully. Let me just say there was a man sitting in the elevator with me who knew exactly what he wanted, and I found myself wishing I were as lucky as he.

Joe Fox: [Joe Fox leaves the store, but his balloon is caught in the door. Joe goes back into the store to free the balloon] Good thing it wasn't the goldfish!

Kathleen Kelly: [Doorbell] Who is it?
Joe Fox: It's Joe Fox.
Kathleen Kelly: What are you doing here?
Joe Fox: Uh, may I please come up?
Kathleen Kelly: No, I don't, I don't really think that that is a good idea, because I have a, I have a terrible, cold.
[ACHOO!]
Kathleen Kelly: Can you hear that?
Joe Fox: [laughs] Yeah.
Kathleen Kelly: Listen, I'm sniffling, and I'm not really awake, and I'm taking echinacea and Vitamin C and sleeping practically 24 hours a day. I have a temperature! And uh, um, I think I'm contagious. So I would, I would really appreciate it if you would just go away.