One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest quotes that made it one of the funniest dramas of 1975. There are so many One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest quotes that can help you when you are tires of being in the same old rut, and all you need is a push, a little inspiration, a smile on the face, change of mood, bring you out of the banality of life, make you laugh a little, or may even make you cry a bit, and these One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest quotes exists just do that.
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest is an American film based on comedy and drama. The film was written on the basis of a novel named the same by Ken Kesey and was directed by Milos Forman and produced by Saul Zaentz and Michael Douglas. The screenplay was done by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman. The main role of the film is played by Jack Nicolson. The other supporting actors are Louise Fletcher, Christopher Lloyd, Brad Dourif and Danny DeVito. The protagonist of the film is Randle McMurphy, who is a patient at a mental institution. It was produced under the banner of Fantasy Films and was released on 19th November 1975 and was initially in the United States. Made under a budget of around three million dollars the film collected $109 million worldwide.
The major locations of the film were Oregon, Salem as well as the surrounding areas including the coast of Oregon. The filming started in 1975 January and went for three months after its completion. The film was also decided to be shot in the Oregon State Hospital as the novel plot the same place. This film was rated 33rd on American Film Institute’s 100 years. 100 movie list. It won about five academy awards. That too including Best Picture, Best Actor in the lead role, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Apart from this the film also received many awards from Golden Globe and British Academy of Television Arts.
The film is about McMurphy, who has proved as a criminal enters the jail once again. This time the assault was that he raped his girlfriend who was said to be eighteen but was actually only fifteen. Instead of spending his time inside the iron heights, he proves it to the guard that he is not mentally stable. Hence the guards are forced to give him some psychiatric care. In order for that, they send him to the hospital. At the hospital, he becomes friendly with his inmates by engaging themselves playing games. This improves the mental condition of many there. But to his bad luck, a nurse always catches him whenever he plays tricks. The film goes on like this till all the patients become rebellious against her.
We have dug up these One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest quotes from the depths of the internet and brought together best of these sayings in a single article. This post is probably the biggest database of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest Sayings in the single place. These famous One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest quotes have the power to change your life by giving a novel outlook about the way you observe different aspects of your life. Hence, these popular One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest quotes should be read with caution and proper understanding of the context. Here are tons of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest quotes that will open a treasure chest of Wisdom and experience:-
“Good writin’ ain’t necessarily good readin’.”
“Rules? PISS ON YOUR FUCKING RULES!”
“He Who Marches Out Of Step Hears Another Drum”
“Jesus, I must be crazy to be in a loony-bin like this.”
“But I tried, didn’t I? Goddamnit, at least I did that.”
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“But Doc, she was fifteen years old, going on thirty-five, Doc, and, uh, she told me she was eighteen and she was, uh, very willing, you know what I mean…I
practically had to take to sewin’ my pants shut. But, uh between you and me, uh, she might have been fifteen, but when you get that little red beaver right
up there in front of ya, I don’t think it’s crazy at all now and I don’t think you do either…No man alive could resist that, and that’s why I got into jail
to begin with. And now they’re telling me I’m crazy over here because I don’t sit there like a goddamn vegetable. Don’t make a bit of sense to me. If that’s
what’s bein’ crazy is, then I’m senseless, out of it, gone-down-the-road, wacko. But no more, no less, that’s it.”
“I’m here to cooperate with ya a hundred percent. A hundred percent. I’ll be just right down the line with ya, you watch. ‘Cause I think we ought to get to
the bottom of R. P. McMurphy.”
“You wanna bet? One week. I bet in one week, I can put a bug so far up her ass she won’t know whether to shit or wind her wristwatch.”
“You’re just a young kid. What are you doin’ here? You oughta be out in a convertible, why – bird-doggin’ chicks and bangin’ beaver! What are ya doin’ here,
for Christ’s sake? What’s funny about that? Jesus, I mean, you guys do nothin’ but complain about how you can’t stand it in this place here and then you
haven’t got the guts just to walk out!”
“How about it? You creeps, you lunatics, mental defectives. Let’s hear it for Bull Goose Randle back in action…You ding-a-lings. The Mental Defective
League, in formation.”
“They, uh, was givin’ me 10,000 watts a day, you know, and I’m hot to trot. The next woman takes me on’s gonna light up like a pinball machine and pay off in
“If Mr. McMurphy doesn’t want to take his medication orally, I’m sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way.”
“Chief Bromden: Mac, they said you escaped. I knew you wouldn’t leave without me. I was waiting for you. Now we can make it, Mac. I feel big as a damn
mountain. [sees the lobotomy scars] Oh, no. [suffocating McMurphy] I’m not goin’ without you, Mac. I wouldn’t leave you this way. You’re coming with me.
[laying him down] Let’s go.”
“Dr. Spivey: It said you’ve been belligerent, talked when unauthorized, been resentful in attitude toward work—in general, that you’re lazy.
McMurphy: Chewing gum in class. Ha-ha.
Dr. Spivey: Well, the real reason that you’ve been sent over here is because they wanted you evaluated to determine whether or not you’re mentally ill. This is the real reason. Why do you think they might think that?
McMurphy: Well, as near as I can figure out, it’s ’cause I, uh, fight and fuck too much.
Dr. Spivey: In the penitentiary?
McMurphy: No, no!
Dr. Spivey: Well, you’ve had five prior arrests for assault.
McMurphy: Five fights, huh? Rocky Marciano’s got forty and he’s a millionaire.”
“McMurphy: Well, that fuckin’ nurse, man… she, uh, she ain’t honest.
Dr. Spivey: Aw now, look. Miss Ratched’s one of the finest nurses we’ve got in this institution.
McMurphy: Ha! Well I don’t wanna break up the meeting or nothin’, but she’s somethin’ of a cunt, ain’t she, Doc?
Dr. Spivey: How do you mean that?
McMurphy: She likes a rigged game, you know what I mean?”
“Dr. Spivey: The funny thing is that the person that he’s the closest to is the one he dislikes the most — that’s you, Mildred.
Nurse Ratched: Well, gentlemen, in my opinion, if we send him back to Pendleton or we send him up to Disturbed, it’s just one more way of passing on our problems to somebody else. You know we don’t like to do that, so I’d like to keep him on the ward. I think we can help him.”
“McMurphy: What do you think you are, for Christ’s sake, crazy or something? Well, you’re not! You’re not! You’re no crazier than the average asshole out walking around on the streets and that’s it!
Nurse Ratched: Those are very challenging observations you made, Randle.”
“McMurphy: [after realizing Chief Bromden is not mute] You fooled ’em, Chief! You fooled ’em. You fooled ’em all. Goddamn. What are we doin’ here Chief? Huh? What’s us two guys doin’ in this fuckin’ place? Let’s get out of here. Out!
Chief Bromden: Canada.
McMurphy: Canada. I’ll be there before these sons-of-bitches know what hit ’em. Listen to Randle on this one.”
“Chief Bromden: My pop was real big. He did like he pleased. That’s why everybody worked on him. The last time I seen my father, he was blind in the cedars from drinking. And every time he put the bottle to his mouth, he don’t suck out of it, it sucks out of him until he shrunk so wrinkled and yellow even the dogs didn’t know him.
McMurphy: Killed him, huh?
Chief Bromden: I’m not saying they killed him. They just worked on him. The way they’re working on you.”
“[Billy is discovered in bed with Candy]
Nurse Ratched: Aren’t you ashamed?
Billy: No, I’m not. [the other patients applaud]
Nurse Ratched: You know, Billy, what worries me is how your mother’s going to take this.
Billy: [obviously terrified] Um, um, well, y-y-y-you d-d-d-don’t have to t-t-t-tell her, Miss Ratched.
Nurse Ratched: I don’t have to tell her? Your mother and I are old friends, you know that.
Billy: P-p-p-please d-d-don’t tell my m-m-m-mother.”
“Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.”
“All I know is this: nobody’s very big in the first place, and it looks to me like everybody spends their whole life tearing everybody else down.”
“But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.”
“He knows that you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy.”
“If you don’t watch it people will force you one way or the other, into doing what they think you should do, or into just being mule-stubborn and doing the opposite out of spite.”
“Never before did I realize that mental illness could have the aspect of power, power. Think of it: perhaps the more insane a man is, the more powerful he could become. Hitler an example. Fair makes the old brain reel, doesn’t it?”
“That ain’t me, that ain’t my face. It wasn’t even me when I was trying to be that face. I wasn’t even really me them; I was just being the way I looked, the way people wanted.”
“What do you think you are, for Chrissake, crazy or somethin’? Well you’re not! You’re not! You’re no crazier than the average asshole out walkin’ around on the streets and that’s it. ”
“The stars up close to the moon were pale; they got brighter and braver the farther they got out of the circle of light ruled by the giant moon”
“They can’t tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed.”
“This world . . . belongs to the strong, my friend! The ritual of our existence is based on the strong getting stronger by devouring the weak. We must face up to this. No more than right that it should be this way. We must learn to accept it as a law of the natural world. The rabbits accept their role in the ritual and recognize the wolf is the strong. In defense, the rabbit becomes sly and frightened and elusive and he digs holes and hides when the wolf is about. And he endures, he goes on. He knows his place. He most certainly doesn’t challenge the wolf to combat. Now, would that be wise? Would it?”
“High high in the hills , high in a pine tree bed.
She’s tracing the wind with that old hand, counting the clouds with that old chant,
Three geese in a flock
one flew east
one flew west
one flew over the cuckoo’s nest”
“We’d just shared the last beer and slung the empty can out the window at a stop sign and were just waiting back to get the feel of the day, swimming in that kind of tasty drowsiness that comes over you after a day of going hard at something you enjoy doing — half sunburned and half drunk and keeping awake only because you wanted to savor the taste as long as you could.”
“No, my friend. We are lunatics from the hospital up the highway, psycho-ceramics, the cracked pots of mankind. Would you like me to decipher a Rorschach for you?”
“You had a choice: you could either strain and look at things that appeared in front of you in the fog, painful as it might be, or you could relax and lose yourself”
“But he won’t let the pain blot out the humor no more’n he’ll let the humor blot out the pain.”
“What makes people so impatient is what I can’t figure; all the guy had to do was wait.”
“I lay in bed the night before the fishing trip and thought it over, about my being deaf, about the years of not letting on I heard what was said, and I wonder if I can ever act any other way again. But I remembered one thing: it wasn’t me that started acting deaf; it was people that first started acting like I was too dumb to hear or see or say anything at all.”
“He knew you can’t really be strong until you can see a funny side of things.”
“I don’t think you fully understand the public, my friend; in this country, when something is out of order, then the quickest way to get it fixed is the best way.”
“I listened to them fade away till all I could hear was my memory of the sound.”
“He knows that there’s no better way in the world to aggravate somebody who’s trying to make it hard for you than by acting like you’re not bothered.”
“What the Chronics are – or most of us – are machines with flaws inside that can’t be repaired, flaws born in, or flaws beat in over so many years of the guy running head-on into solid things that by the time the hospital found him he was bleeding rust in some vacant lot. ”
“But the rest are even scared to open up and laugh. You know, that’s the first thing that got me about this place, that there wasn’t anybody laughing. I haven’t heard a real laugh since I came through that door, do you know that? Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.”
“He’s the sort of guy that gets a laugh out of people.”
“To Vik Lovell who told me dragons did not exist, then led me to their lairs …”
“His whole body shakes with the strain as he tries to lift something he knows he can’t lift, something everybody knows he can’t lift.
But, for just a second, when we hear the cement grind at our feet, we think, by golly, he might do it.”
“Colonel Matterson reading from wrinkled scripture of that long yellow hand:
The flag is America. America is the plum. The peach. The watermelon. America is the gumdrop. The pumpkin seed. America is television.
Now, the cross is Mexico. Mexico is the walnut. The hazelnut. The acorn. Mexico is the rainbow. The rainbow is wooden. Mexico is wooden.
Now, the green sheep is Canada Canada is the fir tree. The wheat field. The calendar.
The night is the Pacific Ocean.”
“The flock gets sight of a spot of blood on some chicken and they all go to peckin’ at it, see, till they rip the chicken to shreds, blood and bones and feathers. But usually a couple of the flock gets spotted in the fracas, then it’s their turn. And a few more gets spots and gets pecked to death, and more and more. Oh, a peckin’ party can wipe out the whole flock in a matter of a few hours, buddy, I seen it. A mighty awesome sight. The only way to prevent it—with chickens—is to clip blinders on them. So’s they can’t see.”
“It’s fogging a little, but I won’t slip off and hide in it. No…never again…”
“…you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep in balance.” [Chief Bromden]”
“But, gee,” the other nurse says, “what on earth would MAKE a man want to do something like disrupt the ward for, Miss Ratched? What possible motive…?”
“You seem to forget, MISS Flinn, that this is an institution for the insane.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind that McMurphy’s won, but I’m not sure what.”
“You seem to forget, Miss Flinn, that this is an institution for the insane.”
“she likes a rigged game.”
“The sun was prying up the clouds and lighting the brick front of the hospital rose red. A thin breeze worked at sawing what leaves were left from the oak trees, stacking them neatly agains the wire cyclone fence. There were little brown birds occasionally on the fence: when a puff of leaves would hit the fence the birds would fly off with the wind. It looked at first like the leaves were hitting the fence and turning into birds and flying away.”
“He’s got hands so long and white and dainty I think they carved each other out of soap, and sometimes they get loose and glide around in front of him free as two white birds until he notices them and traps them between his knees; it bothers him that he’s got pretty hands.”
“But the new guy is different, and the Acutes can see it, different from anybody been coming on this ward for the past ten years, different from anybody they ever met outside. He’s just as vulnerable, maybe, but the Combine didn’t get him.”
“Does the Spearmint lose its flavor on the bedpost over night?”
“Society is what decides who’s sane and who isn’t, so you got to measure up.”
“They’re out there. Black boys in white suits up before me to commit sex acts in the hall and get it mopped up before I can catch them.”
“He’s safe as long as he can laugh, he thinks, and it works pretty fair.”
“You’re making sense, old man, a sense of your own. You’re not crazy the way they think. Yes…I see…”
“She asked if we were calm enough for her to take off the cuffs, and McMurphy nodded. He had slumped over with his head hung and his elbows between his knees and looked completely exhausted–it hadn’t occurred to me that it was just as hard for him to stand straight as it was for me.”
“Most merciful God, accept these two poor sinners into your arms. And keep the doors ajar for
the coming of the rest of us, because you are witnessing the end, the absolute, irrevocable, fantastic
end. I’ve finally realized what is happening. It is our last fling. We are doomed henceforth. Must
screw our courage to the sticking point and face up to our impending fate. We  shall be all of us
shot at dawn. One hundred cc’s apiece. Miss Ratched shall line us all against the wall, where we,,,
face the terrible maw of a muzzle-loading shotgun which she has loaded with Miltowns! Thorazines!
Libriums! Stelazines! And with a wave of her sword, blooie! Tranquilize all of us completely out of
“He’s got hands so long and white and dainty I think they carved each other out of soap.”
“Maybe he couldn’t understand why we weren’t able to laugh yet, but he knew you can’t really be strong until you see a funny side to things. In fact, he worked so hard at pointing out the funny side of things that I was wondering a little if maybe he was blind to the other side, if maybe he wasn’t able to see what it was that parched laughter deep inside your stomach. Maybe the guys weren’t able to see it either, just feel the pressures of the different beams and frequencies coming from all directions, working to push and bend you one way or another, feel the Combine at work – but I was able to see it.”
“While McMurphy laughs. Rocking farther and farther backward against the cabin top,spreading his laugh across the water. Laughing at the girl,at the guys, at George,at me sucking my bleeding thumb, at the captain back at the pier and the bicycle rider and the service station guys and the five thousand houses and the Big Nurse and all of it. Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy. He know’s there’s a painful side; he knows my thumb smarts and his girl friend has a bruised breast and the doctor is losing his glasses, but he won’t let the pain blot out the humor no more’n he’ll let the humor blot out the pain.”
“I see he had his shorts on under the towel all along.
I think for a fact that she’d rather he’d of been stark naked under that towel than had on those shorts. She’s glaring at those big white whales leaping round on his shorts in pure wordless outrage.”
“No one’s ever dared come out and say it before, but there’s not a man among us that doesn’t think it, that doesn’t feel just as you do about her and the whole business – feel it somewhere down deep in his scared little soul.”
“But I remember one thing: it wasn’t me that started acting deaf, it was people that first started acting like I was too dumb to hear or see or say anything at all.”
“But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.”
“It’s fall coming, I thought, I can smell that sour-molasses smell of silage, clanging the air like a bell – smell like somebody’s been burning oak leaves, left them to smolder overnight because they’re too green.”
“I realized I still had my eyes shut. I had shut them when I put my face to the screen, like I was scared to look outside. Now I had to open them. I looked out the window and saw for the first time how the hospital was out in the country. The moon was low in the sky over the pastureland; the face of it was scarred and scuffed where it had just torn up out of the snarl of scrub oak and madrone trees on the horizon. The stars up close to the moon were pale; they got brighter and braver the farther they got out of the circle of light ruled by the giant moon. I was off on a hunt with Papa and the uncles and I lay rolled in blankets Grandma had woven, lying off a piece from where the men hunkered around the fire as they passed a quart jar of cactus liquor in a silent circle. I watched that big Oregon prairie moon above me put all the stars around it to shame. I kept awake watching, to see if the moon ever got dimmer or the stars got brighter, till the dew commenced to drift onto my cheeks and I had to pull a blanket over my head.”
“I don’t seem able to get it straight in my mind….”
“Papa says if you don’t watch it people will force you one way or the other, into doing what they think you should do, or into just being mule-stubborn and doing the opposite out of spite.”
“I had to keep on acting deaf if i wanted to hear at all.”
“The secret of being a top-notch con man is being able to know what the mark wants, and how to make him think he’s getting it.”
“But at least I tried”
“The world news might not be therapeutic.”
“Like a cartoon world, where the figures are flat and outlined in black, jerking through some kind of goofy story that might be real funny if it weren’t for the cartoon figures being real guys… ”
“More was revealed in a human face than a human being can bear face to face.”
“This world… belongs to the strong, my friend! The ritual of our existence is based on the strong getting stronger by devouring the weak.”
“I’d take a look at my own self in the mirror and wonder how it was possible that anybody could manage such an enormous thing as being what he was.”
“I been silent so long now it’s gonna roar out of me like floodwaters and you think the guy telling this is ranting and raving my God; you think this is too horrible to have really happened, this is too awful to be the truth! But, please. It’s still hard for me to have a clear mind thinking on it. But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.”
“Take what you can use and let the rest go by.”
“They wouldn’t be so cocky if they knew what me and the moon have going.”
“To hell with that. A man goin’ fishing with two whores from Portland don’t have to take that crap.”
“It wasn’t the practices, I don’t think, it was the feeling that the great, deadly, pointing forefinger of society was pointing at me–and the great voice of millions chanting, ‘Shame. Shame. Shame.’ It’s society’s way of dealing with someone different.”
“Memory whispers someplace in that jumbled machinery.”
“Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy.”
“All that five thousand kids lived in those five thousand houses, owned by guys that got off the train. The houses looked so much alike that, time and time again, the kids went home by mistake to different houses and different families. Nobody ever noticed.”
“And then some guy wandering as lost as you would all of a sudden be right before your eyes, his face bigger and clearer than you ever saw a man’s face before in your life. Your eyes were working so hard to see in that fog that when something did come in sight every detail was ten times as clear as usual, so clear both of you had to look away. When a man showed up you didn’t want to look at his face and he didn’t want to look at yours, because it’s painful to see somebody so clear that it’s like looking inside him, but then neither did you want to look away and lose him completely. You had a choice: you could either strain and look at things that appeared in front of you in the fog, painful as it might be, or you could relax and lose yourself.”
“I can’t do nothing for you either, Billy. You know that. None of us can. You got to understand that as soon as a man goes to help somebody, he leaves himself wide open. He has to be cagey, Billy, you should know that as well as anyone. What could I do? I can’t fix your stuttering. I can’t wipe the razorblade scars off your wrists or the cigarette burns off the back of your hands. I can’t give you a new mother. And as far as the nurse riding you like this, rubbing your nose in your weakness till what little dignity you got left is gone and you shrink up to nothing from humiliation, I can’t do anything about that, either.”
“What a Life: Give some of us pills to stop a fit, give the rest shock to start one.”
“I’d think, That ain’t me, that ain’t my face. It wasn’t even me when I was trying to be that face. I wasn’t even really me then; I was just being the way I looked, the way people wanted. It don’t seem like I ever have been me.”
“I been away a long time.”
“I’d think, maybe he truly is something extraordinary. He’s what he is, that’s it. Maybe that makes him strong enough, being what he is.”
“You get your visions through whatever gate you’re granted.”
“You’re just a young kid. What are you doin’ here? You oughta be out in a convertible, why… bird-doggin’ chicks and bangin’ beaver. What are ya doin’ here, for Christ’s sake? What’s funny about that? Jesus, I mean, you guys do nothin’ but complain about how you can’t stand it in this place here and then you haven’t got the guts just to walk out!”
“Then—as he was talking—a set of tail-lights going past lit up McMurphy’s face, and the windshield reflected an expression that was allowed only because he figured it’d be too dark for anybody in the car to see, dreadfully tired and strained and frantic, like there wasn’t enough time left for something he had to do…”
“He was in his chair in the corner, resting a second before he came out for the next round — in a long line of next rounds. The thing he was fighting, you couldn’t whip it for good. All you could do was keep on whipping it, till you couldn’t come out anymore and somebody else had to take your place.”
“Mr. Bibbit, you might warn this Mr. Harding that I’m so crazy I admit to voting for Eisenhower.
Bibbit! You tell Mr. McMurphy I’m so crazy I voted for Eisenhower twice!
And you tell Mr. Harding right back — he puts both hands on the table and leans down, his voice getting low — that I’m so crazy I plan to vote for Eisenhower again this November.”
“It’s the truth, even if it didn’t happen…
…if they don’t exist, how can a man see them?”
? Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
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“One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo’s nest.”
“The most work he did on [the urinals] was to run a brush once or twice apiece, singing some song as loud as he could in time to the swishing brush; then he’d splash in some Clorox and he’d be through. … And when the Big Nurse…came in to check McMurphy’s cleaning assignment personally, she brought a little compact mirror and she held it under the rim of the bowls. She walked along shaking her head and saying, “Why, this is an outrage… an outrage…” at every bowl. McMurphy sidled right along beside her, winking down his nose and saying in answer, “No; that’s a toilet bowl…a TOILET bowl.”