hannibal lecter quotes

35 Bone-Chilling Hannibal Lecter Quotes That Will Make You Think

There’s no doubt that The Silence of the Lambs has a cult following, and when it comes to the horror genre, no one is as feared as the infamous Hannibal Lecter!

His iconic character delivered plenty of spine-tingling lines that remained popular to this day! For all you fans of this psychological thriller, here are 35 bone-chilling Hannibal Lecter quotes that are sure to scare even the bravest souls!

Most Famous Hannibal Lecter Quotes

Famous Hannibal Lecter Quotes

#1. ‘’The tragedy is not to die, but to be wasted.’’

#2. ‘’Bowels in, or bowels out?’’

#3. “Cruelty is a gift humanity has given itself.”

#4. “The significance of the moth is change. Caterpillar into chrysalis or pupa… and, from thence, into beauty.”

#5. “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

#6. “Billy is not a real transsexual. But he thinks he is. He tries to be. He’s tried to be a lot of things, I expect.”

#7. “You think, if Catherine lives, you won’t wake up in the dark ever again to that awful screaming of the lambs.”

#8. “People don’t always say what they’re thinking… they just see to it that you don’t advance in life.”

#9. “Before we begin, I must warn you… nothing here is vegetarian.”

#10. “Quid pro quo. I tell you things, you tell me things. Not about this case, though. About yourself. Quid pro quo. Yes or no?”

Intimidating Hanibal Lecter Quotes

#11. “Did you really feel depressed after you shot Mr. Garrett Jacob Hobbs to death? l think you probably did. But it wasn’t the act that got to you. Didn’t you feel so bad, because killing him felt so good? And why shouldn’t it feel good? lt must feel good to God. He does it all the time. God’s terrific! He dropped a church roof on 34 of his worshippers in Texas last Wednesday night, just as they were groveling through a hymn to his majesty. Don’t you think that felt good?”

#12. “First and worst sign of sociopathic behavior, cruelty to animals.”

#13. “I’m having an old friend for dinner.”

#14. “We begin by coveting what we see everyday. Don’t you feel eyes moving over your body Clarice? And don’t your eyes seek out the things you want?”

#15. “I don’t imagine the answer is on those second-rate shoes, Clarice.”

#16. “Don’t lie, Clarice, or I’ll know.”

#17. “You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well-scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste. Good nutrition has given you some length of bone, but you’re not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling? And that accent you’ve tried so desperately to shed? Pure West Virginia. What’s your father, dear? Is he a coal miner? Does he stink of the lamp? You know how quickly the boys found you … all those tedious sticky fumblings in the back seats of cars … while you could only dream of getting out … getting anywhere … getting all the way to the FBI.

#18. “You fly back to school now, little Starling. Fly, fly, fly. Fly, fly, fly.”

#19. “Look for severe childhood disturbances associated with violence. Our Billy wasn’t born a killer, Clarice. Oh no, he was made one through years of systematic abuse. Our Billy hates his own identity, you see. He always has, and he thinks that makes him a transsexual. But his pathology is a thousand times more savage and more terrifying. He wants to be reborn, you see. Our Billy wants to be reborn, Clarice. And he will be reborn.”

#20. “A robin red-breast in a cage, puts all of Heaven in a rage. Think to yourself that every day is your last. The hour to which you do not look forward will come as a welcome surprise. As for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me in fine state… fat and sleek, a true hog of the Epicurus herd.”

Hannibal Lecter Quotes to Clarice Starling

#21. “I’m not sure you get wiser as you get older, Starling, but you do learn to dodge a certain amount of hell.”

#22. “Over this odd world, this half the world that’s dark now, I have to hunt a thing that lives on tears.”

#23. “What does he do, Clarice? What is the first and principal thing he does, what need does he serve by killing? He covets. How do we begin to covet? We begin by coveting what we see every day.”

#24. “Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. I happened. You can’t reduce me to a set of influences.”

#25. “Gratitude’s got a short half-life, Clarice.”

#26. “Life’s too slippery for books, Clarice; anger appears as lust, lupus presents as hives.”

Hannibal Lecter Quotes from the TV Series

#27. “I imagine what you see and learn touches everything else in your mind. Your values and decency are present yet shocked at your associations, appalled at your dreams. No forts in the bone arena of your skull for things you love.”

#28. “Killing must feel good to God, too. He does it all the time, and are we not created in his image?”

#29. “I have no taste for animal cruelty. That’s why I employ an ethical butcher.”

#30. “Words are living things. They have personality, point of view, agenda.”

#31. “At a time when other men fear their isolation, yours has become understandable to you. You are alone because you are unique.”

#32. “Friendship can sometimes involve a breach of individual separateness.”

#33. “I imagine it’s easier to believe I am responsible for those murders than it is to accept that you are.”

#34. “And now death has followed you home, come to live in your house.”

#35. “I’ve always found the idea of death comforting. The thought that my life could end at any moment frees me to fully appreciate the beauty, and art, and horror of everything this world has to offer.”


Hannibal Lecter’s mind is as brilliant as it is devious, and practically everything he says can be considered iconic.

Hopefully, these Hannibal Lecter quotes have given you goosebumps, and a taste for some fava beans and a nice Chianti!

image source: washingtonpost.com

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