The Best Quotes From Good Will Hunting

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Summary

  • Good Will Hunting quotes, such as “You’re just a kid, you don’t have the faintest idea what you’re talking about,” challenge Will’s arrogance and remind him that he still has a lot to learn.
  • The relationship between Will and his friends, like Chuckie, is a source of support and humor throughout the movie, as seen in quotes like “My boy’s wicked smart.”
  • The mentorship between Sean and Will is a central theme, with quotes like “It’s not your fault” and “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to” offering comfort and guidance.


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Good Will Hunting was a hugely acclaimed genre movie that earned Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Oscars for their screenplay thanks in large part to some great Good Will Hunting quotes. When Affleck and Damon were still up-and-coming actors, the two friends wrote the movie that changed their careers forever and earned a Best Supporting Actor trophy for Robin Williams. Above all else, it is the Good Will Hunting quotes that stayed with audiences for a long time.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s first collaboration as writers showed the world the talents outside of acting. The movie is a story of a troubled young man in Boston (Damon) whose talent for mathematics is discovered leading him on a path to either start a new life or stay exactly where he is. The movie is filled with beautiful observations about life, compelling monologues, and even some laugh-out-loud moments that make up the best Good Will Hunting quotes.

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“Do You Know How Easy This Is For Me?”

Will (Matt Damon)

Matt Damon doing math on a chalkboard in Good Will Hunting

There are a lot of movies about an unassuming person with an extraordinary gift being discovered. What is interesting about Will Hunting’s journey in this movie is that he doesn’t see his mathematical skills as a gift and thus can easily push those away who try to encourage that gift. When in a meeting with his professor Lambeau, Will is in a particularly bad mood and brushes off Lambeau’s attempts to get him a job. When Lambeau suggests he deserves some appreciation, Will fires back that these formulas and math proofs are so simple to him that there is nothing Lambeau is offering him. It is a fascinating example of more of Will’s self-destructive nature.

“I Didn’t Have To Watch You Throw It All Away.”

Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard)

Stellan Skarsgard in a bar in Good Will Hunting

Many of Stellan Skarsgard’s movie and television roles take advantage of his skills at playing villains. However, while his character of Lambeau in Good Will Hunting, may be easy to dislike at times, the movie is smart enough to give him a lot of complexities. Lambeau is a man who values intelligence and certainly has insecurities about how his own intelligence is perceived. However, when he and Will butt heads in a big way, he admits he wishes he never met Will so that he wouldn’t know there was someone out there who was so much smarter than him. But he also admits that the real pain is seeing how intelligent Will is and how he is just throwing it all away.

“My Boy’s Wicked Smart.”

Morgan (Casey Affleck)

Will and his friends sit on the bleachers in Good Will Hunting.

Will’s friendship with his neighborhood buddies is very charming. While some think such people hold Will back, he is truly himself around these guys, and they treat him like he’s a normal guy. His friends see how brilliant he is, yet they don’t let it change how they see him. After Will embarrasses an arrogant Harvard student in a bar, his friend Morgan turns to the girls and delivers one of the great Good Will Hunting quotes – “My boy’s wicked smart” – showing pride in Will while still seeing him as their same old friend instead of some genius prodigy.

“Yeah, Maybe, But At Least I Won’t Be Unoriginal.”

Will (Matt Damon)

Will and friends in a bar in Good Will Hunting.

Though Will is happy sticking to his more working-class life and hiding his amazing genius from the world, these Good Will Hunting quotes show just how extraordinary he is while sticking up for one of his friends. After calling out the Harvard student for quoting someone else’s work, the pompous young man attempts to insult Will by claiming he’ll be rich while Will likely will be serving fast food. Will takes that in stride, taking comfort in the fact that his thoughts will be his own.

“If You Disrespect My Wife Again I Will End You.”

Sean (Robin Williams)

Robin Williams looking angry in Good Will Hunting

The mentor relationship Will finds with Sean Maguire is very much at the heart of the movie. While his friends support him and his girlfriend loves him, Sean is the only one who truly knows what Will has been through and helps him address his trauma. Though their initial meeting gets tense, it speaks to the connection these two have. Like with the other therapists he speaks with, Will immediately tries to get under Sean’s skin by insulting whatever he can spot. While Sean brushes most of these off with ease, when Will mentions his late wife, Sean shows his own dark side and how he also has pain not easily healed.

“You Think I Know The First Thing About How Hard Your Life Has Been, How You Feel, Who You Are, Because I Read Oliver Twist?”

Sean (Robin Williams)

Sean speaks with Will in a park in Good Will Hunting.

The par scene in Good Will Hunting is iconic and adds to the movie’s autumn vibes. Will’s first meeting with Sean doesn’t go well as Will presumes too much about Sean’s wife which enrages him. However, Sean gives the boy another shot but still decides to put him in his place with these Good Will Hunting quotes. Sean points out how Will has read a lot about life in books, but there’s so much he doesn’t know about actual experiences. He reasons that, as Will is an orphan, Sean couldn’t understand what he went through just because he read Oliver Twist. It is a thought-provoking glimpse at the movie’s theme of what true intelligence is.

“You Don’t Know About Real Loss”

Sean (Robin Williams)

Sean and Will in the park in Good Will Hunting.

Sean is a bit of a tragic character himself as his life was torn apart when he lost his wife to cancer years ago. Will’s insensitive comment triggers those feelings again, but he then realizes that it is simply Will’s own ignorance that is the problem. Robin Williams’ Sean is able to turn Will’s insult around on him with these Good Will Hunting quotes and make him realize that the only reason he could possibly make a comment like that is that he hasn’t experienced loss in his life because he hasn’t experienced love. As Sean said in full, “it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself.”

“He Pushes People Away Before They Get A Chance To Leave Him.”

Sean (Robin Williams)

Will on a subway in Good Will Hunting.

As part of Will Hunting’s work agreement, he is required to see a psychiatrist. However, it proves to be more difficult than it seems as Will insults and ridicules all the potential candidates who are brought in to see him. It finally takes a psychiatrist like Sean Maguire, who is from the same neighborhood as Will, to really see past all of his nonsense. Sean is able to recognize that Will doesn’t trust people and pushes them away to protect himself. By seeing this, Sean is able to gradually break through and reach Will when no one else could.

“Allegedly, Your Situation, For You, Would Be Concurrently Improved If I Had $200 In My Back Pocket Right Now.”

Chuckie (Ben Affleck)

Chuckie goes to Will's job interview in Good Will Hunting.

Though he doesn’t take a starring role alongside Will, Chuckie adds a nice comedic relief to the movie, especially in the scene where Will sends Chuckie in his place to do a job interview. Chuckie is completely unintimidated in the room of professionals while posing as Will and even works the situation to his advantage. In these Good Will Hunting quotes, he not so subtly hints that a bride would help to convince him to take the job on the table. Ben Affleck gives a terrific supporting performance as Will’s best friend.

“Well, You Found Me.”

Will (Matt Damon)

Will and Skylar kiss in Good Will Hunting.

The romance between Will and Skylar is another interesting relationship in the movie. As they get to know each other and fall in love, they find that they share a connection neither of them seemed to expect. During one of their dates, Skylar laments that it had taken her so long to find Will, and he simply responds, “Well, you found me.” These Good Will Hunting quotes speak to how their relationship has its struggles, but that their being together is all that matters.

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“Why Shouldn’t I Work For The NSA?”

Will (Matt Damon)

Will solving a math problem in Good Will Hunting.

One of the most fascinating things about the character of Will is how his intelligence clashes with the way he was brought up. He has a brilliant mind, yet he also has all these defense mechanisms that cause him to push back. This makes for a hilarious sequence in which Will interviews for a job at the NSA. When told by the recruiter that it is a question of why he wouldn’t take the job, Will delivers some Good Will Hunting quotes about how his codebreaking could have various disastrous effects.

“People Call These Things Imperfections, But They’re Not.”

Sean (Robin Williams)

Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting.

Once Sean and Will become friends, their Good Will Hunting quotes become much more open. Sean opens up about his wife, including a story about how she farted in her sleep. Williams’ performance shows the actor’s dramatic and comedic skills at the same time. After the two men share a laugh, Sean points out that those are the things he remembers. Something that might seem strange to others becomes endearing between couples. It is an important lesson for Will to learn as he tries to open his heart. The full Robin Williams quote is, “People call these things imperfections, but they’re not, that’s the good stuff. And then we get to choose who we let into our weird little worlds.”

“You’re Just A Kid, You Don’t Have The Faintest Idea What You’re Talkin’ About.”

Sean (Robin Williams)

Sean and Will sitting on the park bench in Good Will Hunting.

When it comes to being smart, Will seems to want to have it both ways. He wants to live his normal down-to-earth life with his friends, but he also carries an arrogance in knowing he’s smarter than everyone. However, Sean is the first person that really challenges Will on his view of himself. Though he might be intelligent in a lot of ways, in these Good Will Hunting quotes, Sean explains to Will that he is still just a young kid who has a lot to learn about the world.

“I Think, Maybe I’ll Knock On The Door, And You Won’t Be There.”

Chuckie (Ben Affleck)

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck lean on a truck in Good Will Hunting.

Though Ben Affleck’s Chuckie is a comedic character, he is also a constant source of support in Will’s life. The two men are inseparable and really care for each other. And Chuckie shows how much he cares for Will in this heartbreaking scene. After Will suggests he will stick around their neighborhood his whole life, Chuckie confronts him about it with these Good Will Hunting quotes. He admits that, as much as he loves Will, every day he hopes he will leave without saying goodbye in order to escape the life Chuckie and the others are unable to.

“You’re Not Perfect, Sport.”

Sean (Robin Williams)

Will and Skylar leaning in for a kiss in Good Will Hunting.

Love is a gamble and relationships aren’t perfect, which is enough for Will to shy away from even trying. If he gave someone a chance his life would have been so different, but instead his traumatic experiences as a child halt him from having any form of real attachment. Once Will Hunting met someone who gave him a chance, his defenses rose and he backed away. This is what Will is missing, the blind leap of faith of emotionally investing in a relationship that could become something beautiful. “You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you’ve met, she’s not perfect either.

“I Have To Go See About A Girl.”

Will (Matt Damon)

Matt Damon does math on a mirror in Good Will Hunting.

Much of the movie is about what is right for Will. Is staying where he is squandering his potential, or is his intelligence getting in the way of him being happy? Instead of choosing the life he knows or the path of success, Will chooses love. It is a touching moment when Will leaves a note for Sean indicating he is going to be with Skylar. Will allows himself to find love for the first time and makes a decision based on what he wants for himself. It is a message that stands out as a timeless aspect of Good Will Hunting.

“Son Of A B****… He Stole My Line.”

Sean (Robin Williams)

Robin Williams smiling at the end of Good Will Hunting.

Robin Williams plays his role with such subtlety and charm while keeping his comedic energy grounded, something that surprised viewers at the time. But Williams’ amazing skills as an improviser were put to great use in the Good Will Hunting quotes. Sean finds a letter left for him by Will explaining that he “had to see about a girl,” calling back to Sean’s own memory of meeting his wife. His reserved happiness for Will along with jokingly complaining about his line being stolen is a lovely way to end the movie. What was most impressive about this line, was that Robin Williams ad-libbed in the moment

“How Do You Like Them Apples?”

Will (Matt Damon)

Will and Chuckie standing together in Good Will Hunting.

In a movie with so many powerful Good Will Hunting quotes, it is strange how its silliest line gets the most attention. After Will embarrasses the Harvard student, he meets Skylar and hits it off with her. As Will and his friends are leaving, he spots the same arrogant student. He asks the man if he likes apples, then says “Well I got her number. How do you like them apples?” Again, it is goofy, but it is also hard not to laugh while also being satisfied by the small victory. The scene remained a popular meme and was even used later in a Kevin Smith movie with the actors reprising their roles.

“You’ll Have Bad Times.”

Sean (Robin Williams)

Robin Williams as Sean looking sad in Good Will Hunting.

Will focuses on the negative aspects of every relationship he’s been in, which is why he’s been alone all his life. Sean’s advice to him is everything, if Will would only give someone a chance he’ll realize all that he’s missing. This is one of those timeless Good Will Hunting quotes that apply to everyday life, relationships, and social situations. Bad stuff happens, but it’s in those moments where you realize what you did wrong and grow, or wallow in self-pity and remain the same. “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” In his Oscar-winning role, Robin Williams shows why he’s an amazing actor.

“It’s Not Your Fault.”

Sean (Robin Williams)

Ribin Williams looking at Matt Damon in his office in Good Will Hunting.

The bond between Sean and Will grows throughout the movie until Sean finally breaks through to Will with this simple phrase, repeated over and over until his self-loathing mind accepts the truth. Will detached himself from others because no one ever accepted and loved him. Instead of looking for help, he blamed himself and bottled it all up. By making a joke of it all he buried years of emotional trauma until it bursts out of him. It is one of the most powerful Good Will Hunting quotes that also feels like a relief.