My Big Greek Wedding: The 10 Most Iconic Quotes
In the 20 years since its launch in 2002, My Big Fat Greek Wedding has stood the test of time not only as a beloved and wholesome romantic comedy, but also as a chilling tribute to the eccentricities of large, loving Greek families. Although the film is billed as a romantic comedy, it is in many ways a film about family and how frustrating and funny they can be in equal measure.
In his depiction of the complex relationships between an extended family struggling with the introduction of new non-Greek members, My Big Fat Greek Wedding mines comedy gold and produces many iconic quotes that fans, both Greek and non-Greek, continue to quote all these years later.
“Give me a word… and I’ll show you that the root of that word is Greek.”
Gus Portokalos explains the history of linguistics
With all the commitment of a very pushy language teacher, Gus Portokalos takes every opportunity he can to ask people if they know the origins of the words they use every day. From “kimono” to “arachnophobia,” Gus finds ways to tie the whole world together with what he’s most proud of: his Greek heritage.
Gus is given more quotes and recurring motifs than any other character in the film, so it’s no surprise when he repeatedly says, “Give me a word, any word, and I’ll show you that the root of this word is Greek. .” He may not always be right, but he makes the best case he can.
“Here I am, standing here, your own personal Greek statue.”
Toula makes a strong first impression on Ian
The romantic comedy meet-cute is one of the most important elements of any film in this genre. My Big Fat Greek Wedding has a unique twist on the meet-cute: The meeting isn’t exactly cute, but it leaves just as much of an impression on both parties as standard rom-com fare does.
Toula, in full “perverted girl” mode, as she later calls it, is stunned speechless when she first sees her future husband Ian at her family’s Greek restaurant. So when he returns to the spotlight, he does his best to play off any awkwardness when he quips, “Here I am, standing here, your own personal Greek statue.”
“The man is the head, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn her head as she pleases.”
Maria summarizes the gender dynamics of marriage
My Big Fat Greek Wedding shows the Portokalos family and the many dynamics within it, but also offers a great examination of the ways in which love relationships and marriages work and have changed over the years. As it establishes the love story between Toula and Ian, the film also introduces viewers to the arranged marriage between Gus and Maria.
In particular, Gus and Maria’s marriage is defined by Gus’ outdated gender expectations and Maria’s refusal to give in to those demands. He sums it up very eloquently in Toula after one such disagreement: “The man is the head, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn her head as she pleases.”
“Here… We have apple and orange. We are all different, but… We all make fruit.”
Gus’s wedding speech gets a little fruity
In keeping with his love of explaining the Greek origins of any word, Gus even incorporates this unique quirk of his into the moving speech he delivers at Ian and Toula’s wedding. Ian’s family surname is Miller, which Gus attributes to the Greek word milo (apple), while the surname Portokalos comes from orangewhat does orange mean
There are far greater cultural differences between the Miller family and Portokalos than between apples and oranges, but Gus sums up their relationship this way: “We’re all different, but in the end, we all make fruit.”
“We’re going to kill you. Whoa!”
Angelo gleefully threatens his future father-in-law
Romantic comedies are often known for their hilarious supporting casts, be it in the role of best friend or siblings. But one of the best characters My Big Fat Greek Wedding he is Joey Fatone’s cousin Angelo, a mischievous and sarcastic character who exists to cause trouble.
As Toula’s brother Nick threatens and smears Ian as a way to welcome him into the family, Angelo gleefully joins in the fun, proclaiming, “Hey, Ian? We’re gonna kill you! oops!” as he dances around the Dancing Zorba’s restaurant.
“I lived when I met you.”
Ian’s big romantic moment
Every great rom-com has a quote or two that stands the test of time as some of the most romantic proclamations a love interest could make, like “You had me at hello” or “As you wish.”
The romantic moment of this type is most underrated My Big Fat Greek Wedding, as it comes amid the chaos of wedding planning, as Toula begins to worry that Ian will regret wanting to marry her. But Ian’s most romantic profession is that of establishing, securing and unwavering support: “I came alive when I met you.” There is no longer Ian without Toula, no matter how intense his family is.
“There are two kinds of people: Greeks and everyone else who would like to be Greek.”
Gus’ Greek pride knows no end
Gus is a very constant character throughout the film. Although he develops (reluctantly) to come to terms with Toula’s relationship with the non-Greek Ian, Gus’s defining arc in the film relates to his need to assert his belief that Greek culture it is the most important culture at every opportunity it can.
Even when he’s sitting around the Portokalos family house in his pajamas, Gus is always lecturing about Greek: “Toula, there’s two kinds of people: Greeks and everybody else who wants to be Greek “. And no one ever disagrees with him.
“Why do you want to leave me?”
Gus Portokalos invented the guilt trip
Films that explore the relationship between immigrant parents and their first-generation children reliably incorporate themes of intergenerational expectations and, often, parental guilt. When Toula expresses a desire to attend school and pursue her career goals, Gus immediately embarks on a memorable guilt trip.
Breaking down in tears, Gus asks, “Why do you want to leave me?” in an exaggerated, screaming tone. It is one of the most quotable moments of the film, and one of it My Big Greek Wedding 2 returns when Toula finds herself expressing her shock that her daughter wants to go to college away from home.
“What do you mean he doesn’t eat meat? That’s fine. I’ll make lamb.”
Aunt Voula doesn’t understand vegetarianism
Andrea Martin’s Aunt Voula is one of the film’s strongest sources of comic relief. He is perhaps the strongest character in the film, overbearing and oversharing at every opportunity.
When Toula and Ian meet her at the family Easter party, Voula has her most memorable moment of the entire film. She expresses a desire to cook for Ian now that he is part of the family, and Toula explains that Ian is a vegetarian. Voula’s reaction, which quickly shifts from horror to willful, gleeful ignorance, is absolutely hilarious: “What do you mean he doesn’t eat meat? It’s fine, it’s fine. I’ll do lamb.”
“Put some Windex on it.”
Gus’s life motto
If there’s one thing people know My Big Fat Greek Wedding without ever having seen the movie, it’s the Windex connection. The marketing campaign for My Big Greek Wedding 2 it even featured a Windex cross-promotion, and for good reason.
Gus believes, in all his lovable sincerity, that Windex really is the cure for everything from dry skin to acne to poison ivy. Several times throughout the film he makes the suggestion to “put some Windex on it” whenever a character has something that needs clearing up. And every time they try, it works.
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