Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Terms of Endearment (1983)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Terms of Endearment (1983)

In James L. Brooks' Best Picture-winning signature tearjerker film:

  • the memorable theme song
  • the persistent womanizing by raunchy ex-astronaut Garrett Breedlove (Oscar-winning Jack Nicholson) of his neighbor - Texas widow Aurora Greenway (Oscar-winning Shirley MacLaine), when she quipped back at him: "Imagine you having a date with someone where it wasn't a felony"
  • their first lunch date when he realized she was very uptight: ("I, uhm, think we're going to have to get drunk....You got me into this, and you're just gonna have to trust me about this one thing. You need a lot of drinks....To kill the bug that you have up your ass"); subsequently, she ordered Wild Turkey bourbon
  • his wild car beach drive (steering with his feet while she accelerated) into the ocean, while he was yelling out: "Wind in the hair! Lead in the pencil! Feet controlling the universe! Breedlove at the helm! Just keep pumping that throttle! Keep giving it that gas! I see the Gulf of Mexico below me!...Give it a chance....Fly me to the moon!" - and he was propelled into the water when they hit the water; when she tromped over to him, he joked: "If you wanted to get me on my back, you just had to ask me" and then when they kissed and he copped a feel, she complained: "Get it out of there!...Get it out!...We were having such a good time and you had to go do this!"
  • and then when they returned to her home and she invited him inside, he replied: "I'd rather stick needles in my eyes!" She responded: "Everything would have been just fine, you know, if you hadn't gotten drunk. I just didn't want you to think I was like one of your other girls"; he told her: "Not much danger in that unless you curtsy on my face real soon" - and then admitted: "I don't know what it is about you, but you do bring out the devil in me"
  • the scene of Aurora learning of her daughter Emma's (Debra Winger) pregnancy -- she screeched: "Why should I be happy about BEING A GRANDMOTHER?"
  • Aurora's hospital scene when she panicked and shrieked over her 30 year-old daughter's terminal cancer and demanded that the nurses give her dying daughter her overdue shot of morphine: ("I don't see why she has to have this pain....It's time for her shot, do you understand? Do something...My daughter is in pain! Give her the shot, do you understand me? GIVE MY DAUGHTER THE SHOT!!")
  • Emma's hospital goodbye scene with her children in which youngest son Teddy (Huckleberry Fox) told off his bratty older brother Tommy (Troy Bishop): ("Why don't you shut up, shut up!")
  • the nurse's words to Emma's awakened husband ("She's gone")
  • the final scene of Garrett providing support to the older boy following Emma's death


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z