We Bought a Zoo – Movie Quotes

Compiled by Stacey Tuttle


Read some thoughts about “20 seconds of courage” in our We Bought a Zoo movie review.

Major Themes:
Purpose, Family Relationships, Grief, Communication, Courage


  • Benjamin Mee— “Whatever is the laziest word of this century.”


  • Dylan Mee—“Dad, nobody’s gonna give an “F” to a kid whose mom died 6 months ago.”


  • Pernicious : causing insidious harm or ruin; ruinous; injurious; hurtful


  • Benjamin Mee—“Sometimes you don’t know what it is till you see what it is.”


  • Duncan Mee—“Travel the stages of grief and stop just short of ‘zebras’.”


  • Benjamin Mee—“This adventure, it’s been the best one of all, because it’s personal.”


  • Rosie Mee—“How come you don’t tell stories anymore?”
  • Benjamin Mee—“Well, because we’re living the story.”


  • Kelly Foster—“Talking to girls is easy.  They’ll tell you everything.  The secret to talking to girls is listening.”


  • Benjamin Mee—“I thought if I came out here it would stop.  Back home, every place reminded me of her….  It got better for a while, but it turns out that she’s here too…. When you love somebody that much, that hard, that long, you can never get away from it.”


  • Dylan Mee—“It’s your dream.  You can’t force a dream on someone else.”


  • “It’s like you embarrass yourself when you say something.  You embarrass yourself if you don’t.”


  • Benjamin Mee—“You just need like 20 seconds of insane courage, and then something great will come of it.”


  • Dylan Mee—“I never know what to say to you.”
  • Benjamin Mee—“Why don’t we just tell each other what we wish the other person would say?”
  • Dylan Mee—“I’m sorry I brought you out here to the sticks.”
  • Benjamin Mee—“You’re a great dad.”


  • Duncan Mee—“I like the animals, but I love the humans.”


  • Duncan Mee—“You do something for the right reasons and nothing can stop you bro.”