The top 30 funniest Planes, Trains & Automobiles quotes

The top 30 funniest Planes, Trains & Automobiles quotes

The idea to create a list of funny Planes, Trains and Automobiles quotes hit me square in the face last Friday evening as I was sitting on my couch scrolling through Netflix trying to find something to watch. 

If you’ve seen this movie before, I am fairly certain that you agree with my declaration of it being one of the best travel movies of all time. However, if you haven’t seen it…well…let me introduce to you to one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces ever created.

The plot

Starring Steve Martin and John candy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a story of a businessman named Neil Page (played by Steve Martin) who is desperately trying to get home to Chicago from New York City in time for Thanksgiving dinner with his family.

He encounters a series of setbacks and delays along the way, begrudgingly teaming up with a shower curtain ring salesman named Del Griffith (played by John Candy).

Together the traverse the Midwestern United States using planes, trains and automobiles (in that order) in a hilariously frustrating effort to get home. Of course there’s a lot more to it than that, but I don’t want to give too much of the story away if you’ve never seen it before.

My top 30 Planes, Trains and Automobiles quotes

Before I sat down to extract all of these quotes, I started to realize that nearly the entire movie is quotable. Not feeling particularly keen on re-writing the entire script, I decided to focus only on the top 30 or so (the top 30 in my mind at least). It’s the exact same way I did it for my post about my favorite Top Gun Quotes as well.

And because I’m a sucker for organization, I figured it might be a bit more efficient if I break down these quotes into separate categories:

  • Planes
  • Trains
  • Automobiles
  • Hotels
  • Miscellaneous

Planes (and airports)

As a super-ginormous AvGeek, I’ve always thought that there weren’t enough “planes” in this movie. They could have written the entire script around Neil and Del being stuck in airports (and on planes), and it would have been brilliant. Anyway, here are a few quotes from the scenes which took place in airports and on airplanes:

Planes trains and automobiles Del
Del: “Is this a coincidence…or what?”
Planes trains and automobiles airport scene
Del: “You’re the guy who tried to get my cab!”
Planes trains and automobiles my dogs are barking
Del: “My dogs are barkin’ today!”
Planes trains and automobiles we’re not landing in Chicago
Del: “6 bucks and my left nut says we’re not landing in Chicago.”


There were technically two train scenes in Planes, Trains & Automobiles. The first was when they were in Kansas City (well, technically Stubville) and they needed to raise money in the train station to buy their tickets to Chicago. That part was hilarious, but there wasn’t much footage of them being on the train since it broke down just outside of Jefferson City.

Planes trains and automobiles shower curtain rings
Del (selling shower curtain rings in a train station): “This is Czechoslovakian ivory…”

The second train scene was at the very end of the movie, where Neil and Del say goodbye in Chicago on the “L” platform. Neil gets on, Del stays behind, and…it was a real tear jerker (and not funny). But I’m including it anyway because of the cool America West sign in the background:

Planes trains and automobiles lets go first class
Del: “Next time, let’s go first class, alright”?”


There were a few automotive related scenes in the first half, but it was the second half that centered around Neil and Del renting a car in St Louis and driving to within hours of Chicago (the car didn’t survive). It was pure comedy gold, with the pinnacle being Neil going off on the Marathon Car Rental lady at STL.

Owen Planes trains and automobiles
Owen: “The people train runs out of”
Planes trains and automobiles get yer lazy behind out here
Owen: “Get yer lazy behind out here and put that trunk up in the back!”
Planes trains and automobiles Owen and wife
Owen: “She don’t mind. She’s short and skinny – but she’s strong. Her first baby: it come out sideways.”
Planes trains and automobiles Owens truck
Del: “You know, Stubville is a litte further than Wichita.” Neil: “How much further?” Del: 30 miles. Maybe 40. No more than 45 though. Depending on which way he goes. If he goes on the back roads it could be anywhere up to 70 miles.”
Planes trains and automobiles marathon lady
(1 of 9) Marathon lady: “How may I help you?”
Planes trains and automobiles quotes car rental scene
(2 of 9) Neil: “You can start by wiping that f*****g dumbass smile off your rosy f*****g cheeks. And you can give me a f*****g automobile – a f*****g Datsun, a f*****gg Toyota, a f*****g Mustang, a f*****g Buick, four f*****g wheels and a seat!”
Planes trains and automobiles car rental quotes
(3 of 9) Marathon lady: “I really don’t care for the way you’re speaking to me.”
Planes trains and automobiles quotes marathon car rental
(4 of 9) Neil: “I really don’t care for the way that your company left me in the middle of f*****g nowhere with f*****g keys to a f*****g car that isn’t f*****g there. And I really didn’t care to walk down a f*****g highway and across a f*****g runway to get back here to have you smile in my f*****g face. I want a f*****g car right f*****g now.”
Planes trains and automobiles quotes may I see your rental agreement
(5 of 9) Marathon lady: “May I see your rental agreement?“
Planes trains and automobiles quotes car rental quotes
(6 of 9) Neil: I threw it away.”
Planes trains and automobiles quotes oh boy
(7 of 9) Marathon lady: “Oh boy”
Planes trains and automobiles funny quotes
(8 of 9) Neil: “Oh boy what?”
Planes trains and automobiles quotes you're fucked
(9 of 9) Marathon lady: “You’re f*****d.”
Planes trains and automobiles cab dispatcher
Cab dispatcher: “Yeah, where ya goin’?” Neil: “Chicago.” Cab dispatcher: “Chicago? You know you’re in St Louis?” Neil: “Yes, I do.” Cab dispatcher: “Why don’t you try the airlines? It’s faster and you’ll get a free meal!”
Planes trains and automobiles going the wrong way
Neil: “He says we’re going the wrong way.” Del: “Oh he’s drunk! How would he know where we’re going?!” Neil: “Yeah, how would he know?”
Planes trains and automobiles car rental scene
Del: “Well, this isn’t so bad – I thought it would be a lot worse than this. They’ll be able to buff this out no problem.”
Planes trains and automobiles car rental
Del: “One good thing about it is that with all this fresh air we’re gonna sleep like babies!”
Planes trains and automobiles how fast are you going?
Neil: “How fast are you going?” Del: “I can’t tell, the speedometer is melted!”
Planes trains and automobiles what the hell are you driving
Police officer: “What the hell are you driving here?” Del: “We had a small fire last night, but we caught it in the nick of time!”
Planes trains and automobiles do you have any idea how fast you were going
Police officer: “Do you have any idea how fast you were going?” Del: “Funny enough, I was just talking to my friend about that. Our speedometer is melted, and as a result, it’s very hard to say with any degree of accuracy exactly how…uh…fast we were going.”
Planes trains and automobiles quotes it’s not pretty
Police officer: “Do you feel this vehicle is safe for highway travel?” Del: “Yes. Yes, I really do. I believe that…and I know it’s not pretty, but it will get you where you want to go.”


What’s not funny about two grown straight men (with polar opposite personalities) sharing hotel rooms?

Planes trains and automobiles dirty underwear
Del (yelling for the other room): “Hey Neil! Take my socks out the sink if you’re gonna brush your teeth, alright?”
Planes trains and automobiles those aren't pillows
Neil: “Del.” Del: “Huh?” Neil: “Why did you kiss my ear?” Del: “Why are you holding my hand?” Neil: “Where’s your other hand?” Del: “Between two pillows.” Neil: “THOSE AREN’T PILLOWS!”
Planes trains and automobiles get your own room
Del: “Look, if we’re pissed at each other maybe we should get separate rooms.” Neil: “Get your own room!”
Planes trains and automobiles wearing same underwear since Tuesday
Neil: “Please have mercy on me. I’ve been wearing the same underwear since Tuesday!” Del: “I can vouch for that.”


The following are Planes, Trains and Automobile quotes that don’t fit into any particular category, but are still very much worthy of being included in my list:

Planes trains and automobiles quotes you’re messing with the wrong guy
Neil: “You’re messing with the wrong guy!”
Planes trains and automobiles bus station
Del: “You’re in a pretty lousy mood, huh?” Neil: “To say the least.” Del: “You ever travel by bus before? Your mood’s probably not going to improve much…”
Planes trains and automobiles Neil Page and Del Griffith
Del: “You alright? I’ve never seen anyone get picked up by his testicles before.”
Planes trains and automobiles Del Griffith
Neil: ”Are you trying to start a fight?” Del: “No I’m simply stating a fact that’s all. You fidget with your nuts a lot!” Neil: “You know what would make me happy?” Del: “Another couple balls and an extra set of fingers?”
planes trains and automobiles movie quotes
Del: “You call the wife?” Neil: “No one was home. Probably at my daughters Thanksgiving pageant.” Del: “You missed it. I’m sorry. Those are the precious moments too. They don’t come back again.”
Planes trains and automobiles quotes gobble gobble
“Gobble gobble!”

Why this movie means so much to me

The primary reason why I enjoy this movie so much is that it speaks to me. I travel for a living, and therefore, I feel a deep connection to Steve Martin‘s character in this movie. Yes, travel can be fun, but it can also be a grind at times. Especially when things go wrong. When I see the near-livid frustration on his face in many points in this movie, I get it. I totally freaking get it.

As this movie accurately portrays, it’s never just one thing that goes wrong. When it rains it pours, and the cascading effect of delays and cancellations when traveling is very real. All we can do is roll with the punches, but it’s not always that easy.

For example, remember that Asiana A330 flight from Seoul to Hong Kong I took several years ago? That was supposed to be a flight on one of their last 747-400’s. I was also supposed to be on the upper deck (the pinnacle of AvGeek awesomeness) and it was supposed to happen the night prior. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I also:

  • Got very little sleep during this journey, which totally messed up my body clock during my entire stay in Hong Kong. I was miserable and couldn’t enjoy myself.
  • I also had to forfeit one night of pre-paid hotel in Hong Kong since I had arrived one day late.

All because of a single delayed flight out of San Francisco.

The other reason why this movie means so much to me is that I’ve been watching this movie religiously every Thanksgiving since the early 90s or so. It’s becoming a bit of a personal tradition for me now, and it just never feels quite like Thanksgiving if I don’t get a chance to sit down and watch it in its entirety beforehand.

There’s a Planes, Trains and Automobiles quote for nearly every situation in life

Also a tradition for me is muttering Planes, Trains and Automobiles quotes in my head for nearly every situation in life. I also quote stuff from Top Gun and Pulp Fiction all the time, but those are topics for other blog posts.

  • Whenever I walk up to my very dirty car in a parking lot? “I know it’s not pretty, but… it’ll get you where you want to go.
  • Whenever the printer stops working? “You’re messing with the wrong guy!
  • After arriving at my destination after a long flight (Dubai to Los Angeles for example): “Please have mercy on me. I’ve been wearing the same underwear since Tuesday.
  • And as I get older, “you’re f*****d” is the quote that keeps coming to mind whenever I have a look at my receding hairline in the mirror.

One Response

  1. Anthony

    March 30, 2020

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