The Truman Show is one of the most inventive and compelling comedies in movie history. Jim Carrey stars as Truman Burbank, a man living a seemingly perfect life in an idyllic town. Unbeknownst to him, he is the star of a hit reality show and his whole life has been manufactured for public entertainment.
Though a comedy, the brilliant concept opens the doors for some very deep moments as Truman fights for control of his own life. Likewise, Carrey is funny while showing some real dramatic moments as an actor. This leads to plenty of hilarious, touching, and profound lines that help make The Truman Show such an unforgettable movie experience.
Updated on November 11, 2021 by Colin McCormick: The Truman Show remains one of Jim Carrey’s best movies to date. With its ingenious premise and Carrey’s wonderful performance, it is an unforgettable ride that brilliantly mixes comedy and drama. With such a fun balance of tones, there are so many fantastic quotes in the movie to look back on. From the lines that make audiences laugh out loud to the ones that bring a tear to their eye to those that make them think, The Truman Show is filled with memorable quotes.
Truman Takes Meryl For A Drive
Truman: “I Think I’d Like A Little Company.”
While The Truman Show showed audiences the kind of dramatic work Jim Carrey was capable of, he does get the opportunity to be quite funny as well. This is best seen when Truman starts to realize there is something truly strange happening and decides to bend the rules of his reality.
While driving in the car with his wife, he makes it clear that he thinks she is part of the conspiracy. When he starts driving wildly, she tells him if he wants to kill himself, he can let her out of the car, but he suggests it would be nice to have some company.
Christof Explains Why People Watch
Christof: “It’s A Life.”
The first lines of the movie feature Christof, the architect of the show, explaining the draw of watching Truman’s life. He admits that it isn’t always dramatic or magical, but it is a life and that is fascinating to watch.
This is an intriguing quote because there is a lot of truth in it. However, it also speaks to Christof’s disconnect from Truman as a real human being. Christof fails to see what is wrong in exposing the world to someone’s entire existence. He also does not recognize the irony that he robbed Truman of a real life.
Sylvia Confronts Christof
Sylvia: “He’s Not A Performer, He’s A Prisoner.”
In one of the rare moments that the movie looks outside of Truman’s world, the audience is introduced to Sylvia, a woman who has been advocating for Truman’s freedom for years. She confronts Christof on live television and condemns the show.
While Christof maintains that he is doing Truman a great service by giving him a perfect life, Sylvia argues that if he is an unwilling participant and in fact a prisoner inside of Christof’s twisted world.
Truman’s Dreams Are Squashed
Teacher: “There’s Nothing Really Left To Explore.”
Despite being the center of this show, Truman has always had a desire to see the outside world. Of course, in order to maintain the show’s illusion, they have to go to great lengths to keep Truman from ever leaving his hometown.
While it is somewhat heartbreaking how Truman’s dreams are crushed, it is also funny the ways they try to discourage him. When a young Truman tells his teacher he wants to be an explorer, she bluntly shuts him down by insisting everything has already been discovered.
Meryl Gets Stressed Out
Meryl: “How Can Anyone Expect Me To Carry On Under These Conditions?”
Laura Linney gives a terrific supporting role in the movie as Truman’s wife Meryl. It is a marriage that Truman doesn’t really want, while Meryl is only in it because she is an actor. But when Truman starts questioning things, Meryl finds it harder and harder to keep the ruse going.
While she does a fairly good job of keeping up the lie, Truman finally confronts her, and Meryl’s professional actor façade drops momentarily as she complains about her stressful working conditions.
Truman Is Live
Christof: “Say Something, G**da**it! You Are In Television! You’re Live To The Whole World!”
As Truman gets closer to his freedom, the usually composed Christof begins to lose control. It makes sense because he’s about to lose the show he’s directed for decades. For him, it’s like watching his child leave home.
As Truman reaches the edge of the world he’s always known, Christof attempts to convince him to stay. In frustration, he blurts out for Truman to say something to the world that is watching. It once again shows that, even in the first interaction he has with Truman, Christof cares only for the show.
Truman Learns The Truth
Truman: “You Never Had A Camera In My Head.”
The most profound scene in The Truman Show is the first discussion between Truman and Christof. It shows Truman’s courage as he faces off with his “creator.” At the same time, it reveals how big Christof’s ego is.
When Christof suggests he knows Truman better than he knows himself, Truman points out that he could only see from the outside and not what was going on inside his head. It is a heartbreaking moment that suggests, despite watching Truman his entire life, the audience still has no idea who this man is.
Truman Tempts The Gods
Truman: “You’re Gonna Have To Kill Me!”
In the climactic storm scene, Truman is batted around the studio’s man-made ocean by a storm created at Christof’s direction. As Truman is pummeled by crashing waves and wind gusts, movie-goers don’t see how he’s going to make it.
Yet, Truman does. As he removes the lashes that have him tied him down to the boat, he shouts, “Is that the best you can do?” It is a moment when Truman proves he is truly standing up against whoever put him in this situation and is ready to fight for his freedom.
Truman Begins To Understand
Truman: “That One’s For Free.”
After his alleged breakdown and reunion with his “father,” Truman seems to calm down. While he prepares for bed, he seems to look right into the control room and says hello to the operators. Scared, they get ready to call Christof.
Then, Truman does a little improv with a bar of soap, making an astronaut helmet and flag. This calms the control center personnel down. What they don’t hear from Truman is, “That one’s for free.” It is a signal that he has begun to understand what’s going on in his life.
Truman Meets Sylvia
Truman: “I’m A Pretty Dangerous Character.”
Lauren didn’t have a huge role in The Truman Show, but she did have a major impact on Truman himself. Meeting while in college, Lauren said she couldn’t really talk to Mr. Burbank. Truman’s response was, “Yeah, well, I can understand. I’m a pretty dangerous character.”
It was a whirlwind of activity after that, followed by Lauren leaving with her “family.” Turns out, Lauren is Sylvia in the outside world, who is part of a group that wants to get Truman out of the show. Meanwhile, Truman is obsessed with Lauren to the point he cuts out magazine ads to match their facial features to her.
Christof Starts A New Day
Christof: “Cue The Sun.”
Christof is the man behind this undertaking. To pull such a thing off requires someone who is brilliant yet immoral. But Christof embraces this role, enjoying the challenge of creating not only Truman’s life as he knows it but the whole world around him.
The movie plays with the idea of Christof as a godlike creator, which is probably how he sees himself. Viewers see how he controls the world of the show like some high power and his role of the creator becomes even more blunt and creepy as he commands, “Cue the sun.“
Truman Dreams Of Leaving
Truman: “You Can’t Get Any Further Away Before You Start Coming Back.”
Even though Truman isn’t aware that the world he is living in is fake, he still feels that need to escape. Seahaven has been created as the perfect place to live and a home you would never want to leave. However, Truman begins fantasizing about the world outside his hometown.
While talking with his friend Marlon, Truman admits he has dreams of running away to Fiji. When Marlon, really an actor named Louis, tries to dissuade him, Truman is adamant to go only for the reason that it is the furthest away he can get from the place he’s lived all his life.
Christof: “Seahaven Is The Way The World Should Be.”
The actual show which Truman is the star of has its share of controversy in the movie’s real world. Christof dismisses concerns about the ethics of it by claiming he is doing Truman a favor by sparing him from the troubles of the real world and creating a paradise for him. And Seahaven feels like the same cliche sitcom town as seen in WandaVision.
What Christof fails to understand is that Seahaven is only the way the world should be according to him. For Truman, the existence within the show is becoming more like a prison he doesn’t know he’s been sentenced to.
Truman Plays By His Own Rules
Truman: “Somebody Help Me, I’m Being Spontaneous!”
Eventually, Truman becomes fed up with the same old mundane life he’s been living and decides to make a change. But when he is blocked at every turn from leaving Seahaven, he starts to suspect something bigger is at work here.
Truman gets in the car and begins driving anywhere away from there. As his actor wife tries to calm him down, Truman gleefully embraces finally being about to make his own decisions. He screams it loud for all to hear as he is starting to suspect that others are listening.
Christof Creates A Reality
Christof: “We Accept The Reality Of The World With Which We’re Presented. It’s As Simple As That.”
As much as The Truman Show is a light-hearted and touching comedy, the concept does make it feel like a surreal adventure at times. The idea of the movie is so wild, but it succeeds because it makes the audience feel like it’s not that farfetched of an idea.
During an interview about the show, Christof is asked how Truman has not questioned his reality, and he gives a very simple and true answer. It is a quote like that that makes the audience begin to question which parts of their reality do they take a face value.
Christof Unleashes His Fury
Network Executive: “We Can’t Let Him Die In Front Of A Live Audience!”
Network Executive: We can’t let him die in front of a live audience!
Christof: He was born in front of a live audience.
As Truman finally decides to overcome his manufactured fear of the ocean and sail away from Seahaven, Christof goes to desperate measures to stop him. At this moment, it becomes clear that he is not a guardian angel looking out for Truman but rather a television man who doesn’t want to see his show get ruined.
As Truman sails to freedom, Christof unleashes a storm on him, which everyone else protests. As Truman is nearly killed by his interference, Christof makes it clear that he feels he holds power over this man and can do anything he wants to him.
Truman Was Good Television
Christof: “You Were Real. That’s What Made You So Good To Watch.”
Truman survives the storm and crashes into the edge of his fake world. He discovers a painted wall resembling the horizon and a staircase leading to an exit. As Truman is about to leave, Christof finally speaks to him.
As Christof explains his world to Truman, Truman asks “Was nothing real?” Christof’s answer is “You were real. That’s what made you so good to watch.” Though he is trying to comfort Truman, it only exposes Christof as uncaring, seeing Truman as merely a piece of entertainment.
Meryl Performs A Commercial
Truman: “What The Hell Are You Talking About? Who Are You Talking To?”
One of the most clever and funny aspects of the movie is how the fake world forces advertisements into Truman’s daily life. It’s a small part of this incredibly inventive concept that makes for some great comedic moments.
After a very tense moment in which Truman questions the legitimacy of their marriage, Meryl offers him some hot chocolate. The way she describes the cocoa as if she’s in a commercial is hilariously eerie — and Truman’s bewildered response is fantastic.
Truman: “In Case I Don’t See Ya, Good Afternoon, Good Evening And Goodnight.”
Despite not knowing the truth of his existence. Truman is an ideal star of a wholesome television show. He is kind, polite, and personable to everyone he meets. In fact, he even has his own catchphrase as he greets everyone with a good morning before adding, “And in case I don’t see you, good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight.”
The charming greeting is used throughout the film and when he finally is told his true reality, that catchphrase is his parting farewell. At that moment, he walks away from the show while giving audiences just what they want.
Garage Attendant: “What Else Is On?”
Throughout the movie, the audience see glimpses of the people in the real world watching the show and reacting to Truman’s life. These moments show that people do genuinely care about what happens to Truman and comment on people’s habits as television viewers.
After watching Truman finally break free of the show and leave, the audience rejoices and cheers him on. Then in the film’s final scene, it cuts back to two of the viewers who, after witnessing Truman’s life-changing moment, immediately start looking for something else to watch. It’s a funny and spot-on commentary and the perfect ending to the film.