After the first viewing of director Harold Ramis‘ 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, it comes across as a smart, lighthearted romp about cynical weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray), who’s doomed to repeat the same day over and over again until he and his producer, Rita (Andie MacDowell), fall in love. It’s only after repeated viewings, however, that the true meaning of the film starts to surface — namely, a philosophical ode to the constant repetition of life that we all experience each and every day.
With today being Groundhog Day, here are some of Phil Connors’ best quotes to remind you that, hey, everyone has those days where it feels like their life is on repeat and that the cycle isn’t going to end with you waking up next to Andie MacDowell. Sorry.
“It’s the same thing every year.”
The perfect quote for when you’re only mildly irked by life’s constant repetition, much like how Phil feels when his job takes him to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania once a year. Keep in mind, this complaint is uttered by Phil before anything supernatural kicks in. Yes, even for the star weatherman of Channel 9 Pittsburgh, year after year of covering a Groundhog Day celebration can get pretty tedious, especially when you compare it to the hustle and bustle of Pittsburgh (citation?). Of course, this is nothing compared to the amount of times he’ll have endured it once the movie’s over.
“Didn’t we do this yesterday?”
The perils of small talk with strangers has never been more perfectly captured on film as it is here. When Phil emerges from his room trying to figure out why Groundhog Day is happening for the second day in a row, a repeat conversation about the weather (with one of the guys from Herman’s Head) briefly pushes him over the edge. Not that anyone can blame him.
“What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”
When your days at work grow long and your days off are few and far between, the ability to tell time accurately can become increasingly difficult. Once you start feeling the long-term impact of the work/sleep/repeat schedule, the days start to blend together to the point where three minutes ago may as well have been sometime last year. For those moments, a line like this can come in handy as not only a simple off-hand quip, but also a clever observation as to humanity’s flawed perception of linear time, though that’s better left to another list.
“It’s like yesterday never happened!”
Just as Phil begins to realize he’s been repeating February 2 over and over, he starts to really indulge himself, feeling exempt from the usual reservations about health and well-being. After all, if you’re stuck in the same unending day over and over, why not spoil yourself by ordering one of everything on the menu from time to time?
“What would you do if you were stuck in one place, and every day was the same, and nothing you did mattered?”
Phil’s brooding lamentation about the meaninglessness of life is perfected by the reactions of local townsfolk Ralph (Rick Overton) and Gus (Rick Ducommun), who know that feeling all-too-well. And despite Phil’s downtrodden realization about his own obscurity in the grand scheme of things, driving on the railroad tracks to play chicken with a train is definitely not a great way to deal with it. Instead, why not pile into a car with your buddies and go grab a bite to eat? It’ll shake up your boring routine, and if you time it right, it won’t be too early for flapjacks.
“Okay, campers. Rise and shine…”
For those moments when you’re so helplessly in tune with your day-to-day routine that you can recite it word-for-word. The ones where you’d rather just stay in bed and stare at the ceiling than deal with another mind-numbing, groundhog-filled day.
“You’re hypocrites! ALL OF YA!”
If you ever get so fed up with life that you end up having a public breakdown — try and take a few pointers from Phil’s rant at the Groundhog Ceremony here. It’s direct and to the point, and while he’s obviously fed up and frustrated, he does remain relatively calm throughout. Although some people may take offense to being labeled a hypocrite for not eating the groundhog, but that’s really on them.
“How’s tomorrow for you?”
This last line didn’t come from Phil, but his reaction to being asked about tomorrow by the town’s psychiatrist (David Pasquesi) is perhaps the most relatable moment in the film. Why waste your breath explaining the general futility of daily life when actions like this speak the loudest?
This is an updated version of an article that originally ran in February 2015.