Al: What about the Quantum rules? You have to at least pretend that you are who you leap into.
Sam: That's if I'm a human. I'm not a human, I'm a chimp! We don't have rules for chimps, do we?
Al: You can't get off on a technicality.
Sam: Okay, wise guy, then what am I here to do?
Al: Join the circus.
[Sam has leaped into Bobo, one of the test chimps in the early stages of Project Mercury]
Sam: [to the vet examining him] Lady, I need to tell you something that's probably gonna come as a terrible, terrible shock to you, but, see, I am not...
Dr. Leslie Ashton: Bobo, no. Good boy.
Sam: I am not a chimp, all ri...?
[chimp Cory blows a raspberry at him]
Sam: No offense, okay?
Dr. Frank Winger: [referring to Sam/Bobo] So, is this one of your, uh, future astronauts?
Sam: Not if I can help it.
Dr. Leslie Ashton: These guys can do almost everything an astronaut can, except maybe swim after splashdown.
Dr. Frank Winger: You mean, uh, chimps can't swim?
Dr. Leslie Ashton: They drown, because they have so little body fat. So long as the capsule stays afloat, he'll be fine.
Sam: [narrating] Even though my memory was Swiss-cheesed, I couldn't forget the early days of the space race. In our mad dash to beat the Russians, we quickly put together a space program, and shot anything and everything up into the air. I only hoped I wouldn't be one of the anythings.
[Sam is in a cage eating a banana, while Cory, the chimp in the next cage, reaches for it]
Sam: Uh-uh. I'm sorry. I'm hungry, okay? Sue me.
[Cory purses her lips at Sam]
Sam: No, thanks, I'm not in the mood. I'm sorry.
Al: Well, I think she is, Sam. I think she likes youuu.
Sam: What am I doing here Al? I mean... how did I get here like this?
Al: Well, uh, we know that, uh, chimps are our closest relatives, that, uh, genetically, they're 99% identical to us. As a matter of fact, they're so close that your could even share your blood with a chimp.
Sam: I'm in the body of a chimp. That's too close!
Dr. Leslie Ashton: [talking about Dr. Winger's test methods] You're still killing chimps to save humans.
Dr. Frank Winger: Sometimes chimps die, yes.
Dr. Leslie Ashton: What gave you the right to sacrifice one species over another?
Dr. Frank Winger: I'm not setting a precedent, Doctor. Every child who isn't in an iron lung, every diabetic who doesn't die before his time owes it to primate research. I'm sorry that we have to use any of them. But the contribution far outweighs the sacrifice.
Dr. Leslie Ashton: Not to me!
[Dr. Ashton has discovered that Dr. Winger is performing head impact research on chimps]
Dr. Leslie Ashton: How many chimps have you killed testing helmets?
Dr. Frank Winger: Doctor, do you know how many test pilots we lost at Edwards?
Dr. Leslie Ashton: No.
Dr. Frank Winger: One in four. If there'd been better helmets and protective equipment, maybe some of those men might be alive today. And besides, what are you getting on me for? You test chimps.
Dr. Leslie Ashton: The chimp research in Project Mercury is not lethal.
Dr. Frank Winger: Well, how do you know they won't die of G forces or, or burn up on re-entry?
Dr. Leslie Ashton: We don't know for sure, but we're doing our best to insure their safety.
Dr. Frank Winger: To insure the safety of the astronauts.
Dr. Leslie Ashton: Right.
Dr. Frank Winger: Well, that's what I'm trying to do for the pilots.
Dr. Leslie Ashton: But bashing chimps and trying to extrapolate to humans won't show you anything. In the Cameroons, I saw chimps fall from over fifty feet from trees, land on their heads and walk away. A man could die falling off a six-foot ladder.
Dr. Frank Winger: The neurological structure of a chimp's brain is just a miniature version of a human's.
Dr. Leslie Ashton: But the frontal supraorbital ridges of his skull are two times thicker than ours. If you want to study human head trauma, study it in a human.
Dr. Frank Winger: Well, that would be irresponsible.
Dr. Leslie Ashton: Oh, and it's not irresponsible to kill a chimp?
Dr. Frank Winger: Doctor, you're getting very emotional here.
Dr. Leslie Ashton: No, Doctor, I'm being rational and scientific.
Dr. Frank Winger: 'Doctor', is that an MD or is that a vet's degree?
Dr. Leslie Ashton: I got my degree from the Royal Veterinary College and my PhD in animal behavior from London University.
Dr. Frank Winger: And mine is an MD with eight years of training at Harvard, specializing in neurology. I know neurotrauma.
Dr. Leslie Ashton: And I know chimpanzees.
[after Sam has dived into the water and pulled Dr. Winger to safety]
Dr. Frank Winger: I thought you said, they can't swim.
Dr. Leslie Ashton: They- they can't. I don't know how he did it.
Al: [after taking a closer look at the vet Dr. Ashton] Boy, makes me wish I was an ape.
Sam: Well, you're acting like one.
Sam: Nobel prize in physics, I'm fighting to keep my diaper on. What's next?
[he gets splashed with some kind of pulp - by Cory, who grimaces at Sam]
Dr. Leslie Ashton: [laughing] Cory, stop flirting with Bobo!
Sam: I'm sorry I asked.
Sam: [narrating] Spending the night as an astro-chimp wasn't as bad as it might seem. My bed was firm, the food was free, and the company was... more than friendly. The only thing I really needed was... a shave - over my entire body.
Sam: What happens now?
Al: [consulting his handlink] Uh... Dr. Winger, he stops his tests with chimps. Oh, that's good. And he still goes on, develops this helmet that's still in use. It saves a lot of human lives.
Sam: That's great, Al. What about Leslie?
Al: Uh, she... Let's see, she starts her own vet practice in Santa Fe in 1965, and she builds this sanctuary for orphaned and ex-research chimps.
Sam: What about Cory?
Al: Tuh - sh-she and Bobo have a baby.
Sam: [laughing] Well, thank goodness I won't be around for that.