Mother: Did you understand the moral of the play, my dear?
Little Girl: Oh,sure, ma. Did you see how he kissed her?
Mother: Yes! I hardly thought that was in the best of taste!
Joe: [singing] I gits weary / An' sick o' tryin' / I'm tired o' livin' / An' scared o' dyin' / But Ol' Man River / He jes' keeps rollin' along!
Steve: You wouldn't call a man a white man that had Negro blood in him, would you?
The Sheriff: No, I wouldn't; not in Mississippi. One drop of Negro blood makes you a Negro in these parts!
Joe: I just shell them peas.
Queenie: You ain't pickin' them up.
Joe: No, but I could've if you didn't. I could do a lotta things if it was necessary.
Queenie: Then why don't you?
Joe: It ain't necessary.
Parthy: I could say that my name was Bonaparte, and show you Napoleon's tomb; that wouldn't make him my grandfather would it?
Backwoodsman with Gun: Seein' as how this is the first show we ever seed, you better give me and my friend Zebe here the best two seats in the the-ay-ter.
Frank: But this is Confederate money!
Backwoodsman: That's the kind they use in the hills, it's as good as yours, ain't it?
Frank: But this quarter - it don't ring!
Backwoodsman: Whaddaya want for two bits - sleigh bells?
Magnolia: I never complained. I've lived like this half the time - washing clothes, cooking food over a gas jet, but I loved him. And if all that came with him, I was willing to take care of it. I thought he knew that.
Julie: (singing) Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, I gotta love one man till I die, Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
Julie: [singing] Oh, I can't explain. It's surely not his brain That makes me thrill. I love him Because he's - I don't know... Because he's just my Bill!
Julie: [to Magnolia] Once a girl like you starts to love a man, she don't stop so easy.
Magnolia: Well, couldn't you stop loving Steve if he treated you mean?
Julie: No, honey, no matter what he did.
Sam, Doorman at Trocadero: [referring to the idea of keeping an eye on Julie] Say, I'm a doorman, not a nursemaid!
Parthy: We don't usually pick up actors off the wharves, but we can't be choosy right now!
Gaylord Ravenal: Madam, your courtesy is only exceeded by your charm.
Jim Green: Julie, let's hear the new song, will you?
Julie: [half-drunk] I don't feel like singin'.
Jim Green: Oh, don't you? What DO you feel like doing, Duchess?
Julie: I feel like going off on a tear!
Pete: [showing Julie's picture to the Sheriff] See that?
The Sheriff: Why that's Miss Julie LaVerne, ain't it?
Pete: Yeah, that's what she calls herself, ever since she got married to a white man!
The Sheriff: What d'ya mean?
Pete: Frank, come over here; I want you to hear this. You too, Ellie.
The Sheriff: Sit down and explain yourself. And you make sure you know what you're talkin' about.
[Parthy has just gone to bed, and Cap'n Andy is flirting with three chorus girls in a hotel lobby]
Chorus Girl: Pops, who was that?
Cap'n Andy Hawks: That was Parthenia, my wife.
Chorus Girl: Oh, my mistake!
Cap'n Andy Hawks: No... mine!
Gaylord Ravenal: [saying farewell to Kim before he deserts her and Magnolia] And when I'm gone, you'll think of me, won't you?
Kim as a child: Of course I will. And when you're gone, I always do what you tell me.
Gaylord Ravenal: What was that?
Kim as a child: Don't you remember? Make-believe!
Gaylord Ravenal: [touched and on the verge of tears] That's right. I gave you a system for having everything you want.
Jim Green: Queer how a woman goes to pieces over a man. She was the best bet in Chicago until that curly-haired tramp threw her down.
Parthy: He's a murderer!
Parthy: You're letting my daughter marry a murderer!
Cap'n Andy Hawks: Who's the murderer?
Parthy: That Ravenal! He killed a man.
Cap'n Andy Hawks: Then why ain't he in jail, or hanged?
The Sheriff: The jury figured the gentleman he killed oughta went anyhow.
Parthy: Andy Hawks, are you going to stand there and let your only child marry a murderer?
Cap'n Andy Hawks: Oh don't be so narrow minded, Mrs. Hawks, I killed a man myself once.
Parthy: You killed?
Cap'n Andy Hawks: Yes, me. Now, are you comin' with us, or ain't you? They're going to be married.
Parthy: Married to a murderer! Oh!
Ellie May Chipley: She's fainted.
Cap'n Andy Hawks: Are you sure?
The Sheriff: She's out.
Cap'n Andy Hawks: Good! Now we'll go on with the wedding.
Parthy: Mercy! Something must be on fire the way Queenie's running
Cap'n Andy Hawks: Now what's the trouble, Queenie?
Queenie: There's a powerful fine lookin' fella' out here, wants to know if you all could accommodate him by takin' him down the river fuh as the next town.
Cap'n Andy Hawks: We don't carry no passengers - fine lookin' did you say? Is he an actor?
Queenie: Might be. But he seems more like the kind of a gentleman it's a pleasure to wait on.
Cap'n Andy Hawks: And if you can play the parts to my satisfaction, I'll give you 15 dollars a week, and a chance to see the world.
Gaylord Ravenal: I've seen it.
Gaylord Ravenal: [singing] Who care's if my boat goes upstream? Or if the gale bids me go with the river's flow? I drift along with my fancy; sometimes I thank my lucky stars my heart is free...
Frank: [as Ellie looks admiringly after Gaylord] What are you lookin' at?
Ellie May Chipley: Bet he's some aristocrat.
Frank: Yeah? Look at the cracks in his shoes.
Gaylord Ravenal: [singing] ... and other times I wonder, where's the mate for me?
Ellie May Chipley: Nolie, what's the matter? Is Gay hurt?
Magnolia: No. Ellie, you read it. I may believe it if I hear somebody else say it.
Pete: Hey, where'd you get that gold brooch?
Queenie: You mean this scrumptious piece o' jewelry?
Pete: Yeah, where'd you get it?
Queenie: It was give tuh me.
Pete: Who give it to you?
Queenie: Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies!
Queenie: [she walks off, laughing heartily]
Pete: [muttering] I know who give it to you and she's gonna be sorry, too. All right, Miss Julie LaVerne, if that's how you feel about me...
Pete: [he rips the photo of Julie out of its frame on the stand, but is seen by Windy]
Rubber Face: [the actors are performing the play "The Parson's Bride" on the show boat. Rubber Face, the prop and sound effects man, mistakenly moos like a cow instead of doing a doorbell sound effect] Moo!
Magnolia: [in character as Miss Lucy] Ah, there's the bell. It must be Parson Brown at last!
Gaylord Ravenal: [enters in character as Parson Brown] Good evening, Miss Lucy! I was absorbed in meditation and did not realize night had fallen.
Magnolia: The days are growing shorter, Hamilton, but they're long when one is waiting!
Gaylord Ravenal: As I came across the field I saw the cattle driven home by your faithful dog.
Rubber Face: [growing ever louder] Mooo! MOOOO!
[Ravenal rolls his eyes in exasperation]
Cap'n Andy Hawks: [to Rubber face] Shut up!
Chorus: [first lines; the opening credits are halfway through and still being shown, when we hear the black chorus singing offscreen:] Darkies all work while the white men play,/Loading up boats with the bales of cotton/ Gittin' no rest till de Judgement Day. /Git yourself a brand new gal, /A lovin' baby who's the apple of your eye,/ Coal Black Rose or High Brown Sal,/ They always bake the sparrer and the chickin pie!/ Darkies all work on the Mississippi,/Darkies all work while the white folks play/ Loadin' those boats with the bales of cotton, / Gittin' no rest till the Judgement Day.
[steamboat whistle sounds offscreen and picture changes to a shot of the showboat arriving in the distance and the black chorus singing onscreen]
Chorus: Cotton Blossom, Cotton Blossom,/ Long to see you growin' free,/When they pack you on the levee/ you're a heavy load to me!/ Cotton Blossom, Cotton Blossom/ Long to see you growin' wild...
Young Black Man: There's the show boat!
Chorus: [singing] On the levee, you're too heavy/ For this poor black child!
[the workers run to the dock. The calliope plays as we see shots of townspeople running toward the dock. Then band plays]
Parthy: [on the boat, over the noise of the band] Andy! Andy!
Cap'n Andy Hawks: Goshamighty, woman, what's eatin' ya?
Parthy: Did you tell the band to wear their new uniforms?
Cap'n Andy Hawks: Course I did. What did we get 'em fer?
Parthy: You'll have 'em all ruined!
Cap'n Andy Hawks: Goshamighty, well, look, they're waitin' for us. That's our public! Hiya, public!
[He waves and the crowd cheers]