Written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, Rocky is the seminal rags-to-riches tale of it’s titular character, a well-meaning aspiring boxer and part-time thug. Just as it seems he’s lost everything, he gets a chance at a huge title match against champion Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers.
The film became the highest grossing release of 1976, eventually gaining ten Academy nominations and winning three, including best picture. It went on to inspire five sequels, all written and directed by Stallone, save for Rocky V, which was helmed by the original Rocky director John Avildsen. The sixth film in the series, Creed, focusing on Rocky’s mentoring relationship with his former opponent’s son, Adonis, is set to come out this November with Michael B. Jordan booked to play the junior Creed.
Here are some of Rocky’s more memorable and inspirational quotes said in-between all the training and fighting montages.
“When can I fight again?” – Rocky
After taking a beating in the ring in the opening moments of the film, a doctor lists off Rock’s injuries in the locker room afterward, though, Rocky clearly has only one priority.
“Sounds like a damn monster movie.” – Apollo
After his big-name opponent drops out of a match, Apollo Creed is desperate to find an opponent for his big Fourth of July bout and is immediately drawn to Rocky Balboa’s nickname, “The Italian Stallion.”
“Why do you wanna fight?” – Adrian
“Because I can’t sing or dance.” – Rocky
One of cinema’s most awkward first dates, Rocky is able to talk his way into a few minutes on the ice-skating rink despite it being closed for Thanksgiving in order to impress Adrian, played by Talia Shire. As he jogs along side her while she skates, he talks endlessly about his love of boxing. Once their time in the rink runs out, Adrian asks him why he does it at all.
“I got heart, but I ain’t got no locker. Do I, Mick?” – Rocky
Mick, the hardened trainer played by Burgess Meredith, visits Rocky after the fight with Apollo Creed is confirmed. Seeing Rocky as a last chance to reach greatness, he explains how much he lost out on throughout his own career because he didn’t have a manager. As Mick compares him to boxing great Rocky Marciano, telling him he has “heart like him,” Rocky’s not so quick to forgive how Mick treated him over the years.
“It’s like an animal morgue, you know.” – Rocky
An offhand observation by Rocky while visiting his friend Paulie at Shamrock Meats — which he later “endorses” for the big fight — causes Paulie to fly off the handle and punch a side of beef. Natrually, Rocky then turns this act into a training method which inspired one of the least exciting action figures of all time.
“Together, we fill gaps.” – Rocky
When asked by Paulie what he sees in his his sister, Rocky gives his own clumsy, yet endearing, interpretation of what love means to him.
“You’re gonna eat lightning and you’re gonna crap thunder!” – Mick
No one could motivate a guy to go the distance better than Mick.
“He doesn’t know it’s a show. He thinks it’s a damn fight.” – Tony
Starting to realize that Rocky won’t be the pushover opponent that he expected, Apollo’s manager, Tony, advises him how to push forward through the rest of the fight. As a result, Apollo parks the flash and showboating.
“Your nose is broke.” – Mick
“How’s it look?” – Rocky
“Eh, it’s an improvement.” – Mick
Apollo, having come back strong after underestimating Rocky as an opponent, ends up breaking Rocky’s nose and his beloved streak of not having that happen in a fight. Mick handles this development about as frankly as you’d expect.
“Stick and move. Stick and move.” – Tony
As the fight between Rocky and Apollo draws on, Tony offers Apollo more endlessly quotable advice.
“All I wanna do is go the distance.” – Rocky
Rocky, after seeing the ring before the big fight, breaks down in front of Adrian and admits that he doubts that he has the ability to beat Apollo, and that he simply wants to go the distance, proving that he’s more than just some guy from the neighborhood.
“Adrian!” – Rocky
And of course, the most famous (and repeated) quote of them all.