Empire Records

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Empire Records is a 1995 comedy about the employees of an independent music store who learn about each other as they try anything to keep the store from being absorbed by a large chain.

Directed by Allan Moyle and written by Carol Heikkinen.
Open 'til Midnight. Taglines


  • [Wearing nothing but a MusicTown apron] Welcome to MusicTown, may I service you?
  • I really think Musictown is torn on the revealing garment issue.
  • Attention Rex Manning fans, to your left you will notice a shoplifter being chased by night manager, Lucas. This young man will be caught, deep fried in a vat of hot oil and served to our first hundred customers. Just another tasty treat from the gang at Empire Records.
  • Oh now, Debra, don't be bitter, surely with your ever growing collection of flesh mutilating silver appendages and your brand new Neo-Nazi boot camp makeover, the boys will come a-runnin'.


  • In the immortal words of The Doors, 'The time to hesitate is through.'
  • The fat man walks alone.
  • [Lucas has just gambled away all Joe's money] I wonder if I'll be held responsible for this.
  • Joe, I can categorically say that you are not a bigger banana-head.
  • I do not regret the things I have done, but those I did not do.
  • I used to pee in my bed. I did. I, I wet my bed until I was ten. My mother turned me over to the county when I was ten too- not for being a bed wetter- but for being a bad seed. Anyways, 3 years went by, then Joe came. And he took me out, and I became the well adjusted person I am today.
  • The long arm of the law has embraced our dear friend Warren.
  • [Warren is being taken to jail] Don't drop the soap, Warren.
  • Joe, is it okay if I leave the couch? 'Cause I'm gonna leave the couch now, okay? My ass has fallen asleep, so I gotta go. I'm leaving.
  • What's with today, today?

A. J.

  • You know that feeling when you get out of a warm bath... well... you make me feel like a bath?
  • [To Lucas] What's with you today? Yesterday you were normal and today you're like the Chinese guy from the Karate Kid.
  • I'll tell her at noon....By noon or one...By 1:37 exactly Joe!


  • [Answering the phone] Empire Records, open 'til midnight, this is Mark. [pause] Midnight.
  • We mustn't dwell... no, not today. We CAN'T. Not on Rex Manning day.
  • [into television camera] Damn the man! Save the Empire!


  • Warren: Me Joe, you Jane.
  • Corey: My dad always said that there's 24 usable hours in every day.
  • Corey: So is this how your life's gonna be now, huh? You're just gonna screw every has-been until your tits fall down and they don't want you anymore?
  • Eddie: [Corey left her bra] You forgot your thingy.
  • Eddie: They're my special recipe... and you know what that means... Lots of sugar.
  • Debra: I went to rock and roll heaven, and I wasn't on the guest list.
  • Debra: I tried to kill myself with a Lady Bic. A pink plastic razor with daisies on it and a moisturizing strip.
  • Rex Manning: Why don't you all just fade away.


Lucas: $9104. I counted it... twice.
Lady at Craps Table: I like your style.
Lucas: [proud, humble] Well, Joe told me to count it twice...

High Roller: That's an 18,000 dollar bet, you sure you know what you're doin', kid?
Lucas: I know this, that if I win this roll, I will save the place that I work from being sold, and the jobs of my friends that work there. Thus striking a blow at all that is evil and making this world a better place to be in.
Lady at Craps Table: Huh?
Lucas: ...And I'll buy you guys a drink. [Lady smiles]

Eddie: Can I ask you something? Do you know where Harvard is?
A.J.: It's near Boston.
Eddie: No I mean, do you really know where Harvard is? It's another planet man- another universe. Totally unlike the one we know. Filled with big blond guys who eat ivy and row boats. What I'm trying to say is, you and Corey just aren't made for each other. She's different from you.

Lucas: Mitchell's the man, Joe.
Joe: And the man calls all the shots.
Lucas: Damn the man.
Joe: Let me explain it to you. Mitchell's the man. I'm the idiot. You're the screw-up. And we are all losers. Welcome to Musictown.

A.J.: Joe, I need to ask your advice. Now I know you know a lot about love and women and all that sort of thing...
Joe: Oh, yeah, my wife left me for another woman and my girlfriend forced me to leave at gunpoint. Does this qualify me?
A.J.: Oh yeah, definitely.

A.J.: ...You know, I gotta tell her that I, uh, well, you know, that I uh...
Joe: ...Love her.
A.J.: Yeah, now how do I do that?
Joe: You say 'I love you.' What do you want, written instructions?

Joe:[after Joe beats Lucas up in his office] Here.
[hands Lucas a washcloth]
Joe: You deserved that, you know that.
Lucas: Yeah, I know it.

Gina: Lucas, what are you doing in here?
Lucas: My life has reached its pinnacle. Joe is letting me close the store tonight.

Debra: Hey Lucas, is it true you committed the perfect crime?
Lucas: Not entirely perfect.

Eddie: This music is the glue of the world, Mark. It's what holds it all together. Without this, life would be meaningless.
Mark: Hey, did you hear about Lucas?
Eddie: Hey Lucas, man, I hear you went to Vegas and you married a mobster's wife and now you've got a hit on you and stuff. Is that true?
Lucas: Not entirely true.
Eddie: Well, outlaw man, we salute you.
Lucas: Thank you, Eddie.
Eddie: No problem.

Debra: [Reading the new Musictown rules] No visible tattoos.
Gina: No revealing clothing.
Debra: We're both screwed. At least you're used to it.
Gina: Oh now, Debra, don't be bitter, surely with your ever growing collection of flesh mutilating silver appendages and your brand new Neo-Nazi boot camp makeover, the boys will come a-runnin'.
Debra: Let's not argue...just rip (both start tearing lists of rules)

A.J.: Mark, listening to this crap is guaranteed to make you sterile.
Mark: [sulking under his breath] Maybe I want to be sterile.

Warren: Who glued these quarters down?
A.J.: I did.
Warren: What the hell for, man?
A.J.: I don't feel the need to explain my art to you, Warren.

Mark: Whoa... so many babes out there! Rex needs some water... gotta get Rex some water...
Lucas: Mark, who's your favorite singer?
Mark: Axl!
Lucas: Ok, so if Axl Rose was driving down the highway and saw Rex Manning stranded on the side of the road, do you think that he would stop and help him?
Mark: [thinking hard] Does Axl have a jack?
Warren: No way, man! Axl would get into gear and step on the metal... and take that sucker out [pretends he's driving and crashing into someone]
Lucas: WARREN! Where do you get all this hostility from?!

Mark: Hey, Lucas. I've decided I'm going to start a band.
Lucas: The first thing you need is a name. Then you'll know what kind of band you've got.
Mark: Right, right. I was thinking about, um, Marc. How does that sound?
Lucas: Is that with a C or with a K?
Mark: Well, my name is with a K, so I was thinking my band's name could be with a C. That way it's kind of that psychedelic, you know, trip thing.
Lucas: Always play with their minds.

A.J.: You did have hair when you went in there, right?
Debra: Yeah. It's still in the sink, if you want to glue it.

Corey: I'm not like you, I don't need to do what you do with guys.
Gina: Oh, I see, not like me, the turbo-slut.

Joe: Go stand up against that wall and hold these CDs up to your chest.
Warren: Why don't you shove them up your ass?
Lucas: Because it would hurt a lot, Warren.

Lucas: [flipping through the CDs that Warren tried to shoplift] Rap, metal, rap, metal... Whitney Houston?
Warren: It's for my girlfriend.
Lucas: You know, someone like you needs to diminish their criminal impulses, not magnify them. Maybe some jazz or some classical.
Warren: Maybe you bite me.

Mitch: Why do I get the feeling that I'm being royally screwed?
Joe: Because you are, Mitch.

Lucas: Joe, I think it's gonna be okay.
Joe: What makes you think that?
Lucas: Who knows where thoughts come from? They just appear.

A.J: What's with you? Yesterday you were normal and today you're like the Chinese guy from Karate Kid. What's with you today?
Lucas: What's with today, today?

A.J.: Lucas, do you think it's possible for a person to be in love with someone else and not even know it?
Lucas: In this life there are nothing but possibilities.
A.J.: Well, that's good, because I have to tell Corey I love her by 1:37.
Lucas: That's an excellent time.

Joe: Where's the money, Lucas?
Lucas: Joe, the money is gone.
Joe: I know it's GONE, where's it gone to?
Lucas: Atlantic City.
Joe: Atlantic City. ...Is it coming back from Atlantic City?
Lucas: I... I don't think so.
Joe: What's it doing in Atlantic City?
Lucas: Recirculating.
Joe: Recirculating?
Lucas: Yeah.
Joe: Lucas, listen to me. I told Mitchell Beck that you forgot to deposit the money. I told Mitchell that the money was still here.
Lucas: Joe, that's not true. It's in Atlantic City... I swear!
Joe: Shut up, sit down, and don't you move.
Lucas: [sitting down] It could be in other cities by now...

Gina: Well, Sinead O'Rebellion. Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behavior!
Debra: God, that is so clever. You know, I swear you get smarter the shorter your skirt gets.
Gina: And you get smarter the shorter your hair gets, so it's probably good you went with that.

Joe: Deb, what are you doing?
Debra: I just wanted to have a little chat with Warren.
Warren: Oh, yeah? Well, have a little chat with my gun.
Debra: [into the barrel of Warren's gun] What do you want, Warren?
Debra: Well, you can't kill me, 'cause I'm already dead. Oh, and I talked to God, and she says, "Yo, wassup?" and, she wants you to lose the gun.
Warren: What? You are psycho. You're a psycho.

Jane: [Referring to Rex Manning] Actually, his new album tested well among teenage males.
Lucas: Jane, did you compare the percentage of teenage male Rex Manning fans to the incidence of homosexuality amongst teenage males?

Gina: [As Warren comes running back through the store] Isn't it customary to leave the scene after committing the crime?
Debra: Definitely an amateur.

[Joe is talking to the police about Warren]
Joe: [to Warren] How old are you?
Warren: Old enough to kick your butt through your skull and splatter your brains on the wall.
Joe: [to the cops on the phone] Yeah, he's a juvenile.

Joe: Could you please not sing, Mark.
Mark: You know what, Joe? One of these days, I'm gonna show you little people.
Joe: Yeah, well on that day I'm gonna jump outta my wheelchair and do a dance.
Mark: How 'bout today, huh? Rex Manning day.

[Gina is telling Rex about her ability to guess what kind of underwear men have on without looking.]
Gina: I don't know, it's just something I've always been able to do.
Rex Manning: Alright. What am I wearing now?
Gina: Jockies. Navy Blue. Am I right?
Rex Manning: I don't know.
Gina: Well, why don't you check it out, and you let me know.

Corey: Can I bring Rex his lunch?
Joe: Berko's taking him his lunch.
Corey: You know that Berko's going to insult him right to his face. It's not a good idea.
Joe: I don't care if Berko sticks an M-80 up his butt and lights it. I hope he sticks one up mine. It'd be an improvement.
Corey: I have to bring Rex his lunch.
Joe: Berko is.
Corey: Joe, I need to bring him his lunch.
Joe: Berko is.
Joe: ...All right.

Debra: I guess nobody really has it all together.
Corey: No.
Debra: I feel like I should welcome you to the club or something. Anyway, did you really want to do Rex Manning in the count-out room? Is that how you always imagined your first time would be? Your back up against the daily totals, your feet pounding against the safe... "Oh, Rexy, stop that! You're so sexy." [they both laugh]
Corey: Why are you being so nice to me?
Debra: Let's save our Hallmark moment. [flushes toilet]

Jane: What are you doing later?
Joe: I don't know. I'm either going to jail or hell. I can't decide.

Mitch: Doesn't anybody work here?
Warren: [holds up his work id] i do


  • Open 'til Midnight.
  • They're selling music but not selling out.
  • Damn the Man! Save the Empire!
  • This music is the glue of the world. It holds it all together.
  • What's with today, today?


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