Study Guide

Finding Nemo Quotes

  • Family

    CORAL: Just think that in a couple of days, we're gonna be parents!

    MARLIN: Yeah. What if they don't like me?

    CORAL: Marlin.

    MARLIN: No, really.

    CORAL: There's over 400 eggs. Odds are, one of them is bound to like you.

    Becoming a parent is an exciting time (kids, just ask your parents) and Marlin is no different from any other dad-to-be. He wants what's best for his little offspring… and is more than a little worried. Turns out, he's right to be nervous.

    NEMO: I wanna go home. Does anyone know where my dad is?

    PEACH: Honey, your father's probably back at the pet store.

    NEMO: Pet store?

    BLOAT: Yeah. Like, I'm from Bob's Fish Mart.

    Poor Nemo. Not only is he missing his dad, but he's the only one in this new fish tank with family ties. What's a fish to do without a family? Make one of your own.

    GILL: Okay, Sharkbait's one of us now, agreed?


    GILL: We can't send him off to his death. Darla's coming in five days, so what are we gonna do? I'll tell you what we're gonna do: we're gonna get him outta here. We're gonna help him escape.

    Family Truth #14: family always watches your back. Nemo may have lost his dad, but he's also found a pretty great substitute family with these guys. The Tank Gang initiates Nemo into their club and then hatches a plan to try to stop him from becoming another one of Darla's victims.

    MARLIN: I can't afford any more delays and you're one of those fish that causes delays. Sometimes it's a good thing. There's a whole group of fish. They're delay fish.

    DORY: You mean...You mean you don't like me?

    MARLIN: No, of course I like you. It's because I like you I don't want to be with you. It's a complicated emotion.

    Meanwhile, Marlin has found his own makeshift family member in Dory. Except he's less thrilled about it. Dory might be trying to help, but she's also really slowing Marlin up. And honestly, who hasn't felt this way about a relative before? Sure, you like them…but you also can't stand to be around them. True story.

    DORY: Hey, what's wrong?

    MARLIN: What's wrong? While they're busy doing their little impressions, I'm miles from home with a fish who can't even remember her name.

    DORY: Boy, I bet that's frustrating.

    MARLIN: Meanwhile, my son is missing.


    MARLIN: But it doesn't matter, because no one in this entire ocean is going to help me.

    DORY: Well, I'm helping you.

    Awww. Marlin's pretty down because he can't seem to reconnect with his son and no one is trying to help him. No one except Dory, that is. Marlin finally realizes why he shouldn't quite give up on Dory yet. He might just need her love and friendship on his way to finding Nemo.

    NEMO: I'm sorry I couldn't stop the...

    GILL: No, I'm the one who should be sorry. I was so ready to get out, so ready to taste that ocean, I was willing to put you in harm's way to get there. Nothing should be worth that.

    Before this moment, we might have suspected Gill's motivations for helping Nemo were kind of selfish. But, this changes everything. Gill reaffirms his love for Nemo. He's part of the Tank Gang family now and nothing, not even escaping back to ocean, is worth hurting a family member.

    CRUSH: Aw, it's awesome, Jellyman. Little dudes are just eggs, leave 'em on the beach to hatch, then coo-coo-ca-choo, they find their way back to the big 'ol blue.

    MARLIN: All by themselves?

    CRUSH: Yeah.

    MARLIN: But dude, how do you know when they're ready?

    CRUSH: Well, you never really know. But when they'll know, you'll know, you know?

    Oh, man. This is what every parent's dilemma. Crush knows that loving your kids is a balance. They need your love and support, but they need to be able to swim with their own two fins, too. Meanwhile, Marlin's been trying to hold on so tight to his son, that he nearly smothered him.

    DORY: No. No, you can't. Stop! Please don't go away. Please? No one's ever stuck with me for so long before. And if you leave... if you leave... I just… I remember things better with you. I do, look. P. Sherman, forty-two... forty-two... I remember it, I do. It's there. I know it is, because when I look at you, I can feel it. And I look at you, and I... and I'm home. Please... I don't want that to go away. I don't want to forget.

    MARLIN: I'm sorry, Dory, but I do.

    Okay, anytime Dory is sad, we're sad. Sure, she and Marlin made a great team, but Marlin just can't stay with her anymore. His new connection to Dory reminds him of everything he's lost—his son, the only family he has left in the world.

  • Fear

    MARLIN: Now, what's the one thing we have to remember about the ocean?

    NEMO: It's not safe.

    MARLIN: That's my boy.

    Yes, this is probably the one big lesson that Marlin needs for his son to know. The ocean is a dangerous place and, even though Marlin couldn't protect his wife and other kids from it, he's bound and determined to keep Nemo alive and swimming no matter what.

    BOB: Hey, you're doing pretty well for a first timer.

    MARLIN: Well, you can't hold on to them forever, can you?

    BILL: You know I had a tough time when my oldest went out to The Drop Off.

    MARLIN: They've just got to grow up some—The Drop Off?! What are you, insane? Why don't we fry them up now and serve them with chips?

    Okay, The Drop Off does seem like a pretty dangerous place, but the other parents are sure Mr. Ray has it under control. Why isn't this good enough for Marlin? Is this just too much for Nemo's first day? If only they'd stayed home and played on the sponge beds instead.

    NEMO: I can swim fine, Dad, okay?

    MARLIN: No, it's not okay. You shouldn't be anywhere near here. Okay, I was right. You'll start school in a year or two.

    NEMO: No, Dad! Just because you're scared of the ocean—

    MARLIN: Clearly, you're not ready. And you're not coming back until you are. You think you can do these things but you just can't, Nemo!

    NEMO: I hate you.

    This is where father and son have it out. Nemo knows that his dad's fears have been holding him back and he finally says it. He not afraid like his dad and he'll prove it.

    BRUCE: So, what's a couple of bites like you doing out so late?

    MARLIN: Nothing, we're not doing anything, we're not even out.

    BRUCE: Great! Then how would you little morsels like to come to a little get-together I'm having?

    DORY: You mean like a party?

    BRUCE: Yeah, that's it, a party! What do you say?

    DORY: Oh, I love parties! That sounds like fun.

    So, turns out Marlin was right. The ocean is a very dangerous place. Within minutes of leaving the reef, Marlin and Dory have run into (what looks like) a very hungry shark. Marlin's pretty smart to be afraid here. He thinks he's about to get eaten. But, Dory is just as cool as a cucumber. That little blue fish has no fear.

    BLOAT: Oh, Darla.

    NEMO: What? What's wrong with her?

    GURGLE: She wouldn't stop shaking the bag.

    BUBBLES: Poor Chuckles.


    NEMO: I can't go with that girl! I have to get back to my dad! Aaah! Daddy! Help me!

    It's not just the ocean that's scary. Life on land is pretty unpredictable, too. Here, the movie starts a frightening ticking clock for Nemo. He's got to escape back to the ocean before Darla arrives to claim him as her birthday present. This living in a tank thing isn't gonna be a breeze.

    DORY: It's so... pretty.

    MARLIN: I'm feeling... happy, and that's a big deal for me.

    DORY: I want to touch it...

    MARLIN: Hey, come back. Come on back here. I'm gonna get you.

    For once, Marlin is pretty chill. The little light that he sees in the deep dark ocean is pretty darn soothing. Of course, that's what it's meant to do. By calming Marlin and Dory's fears, the anglerfish lures them closer and closer to his jaws. Evolution is a handy thing… for the anglerfish, that is.

    MARLIN: This is bad, Dory. Very bad.

    DORY: Hey, watch this. Boing! Boing!...

    MARLIN: Dory!

    DORY: You can't catch me!

    MARLIN: Dory, don't bounce on the tops! They will... not sting you. The tops don't sting you! That's it!

    Once again, Marlin is panicked and Dory is just having a ball. It takes both their responses to this danger—fear and fun—to get them out of this mess.

    CRUSH: Alright, we're here, dudes! Get ready! Your exit's comin' up, man!

    MARLIN: Where? I don't see it.

    DORY: There! I see it! I see it!

    MARLIN: You mean the swirling vortex of terror?

    CRUSH: That's it, dude!

    Exiting through the swirling vortex of terror doesn't sound super fun to us either, but Crush thinks it's no biggie. This is another contrast between these two dads. Crush thinks the dips and dives of the EAC are a fun ride, while Marlin's totally panicked. In the end, Marlin realizes he was safe all along. Hey, maybe some of these fears are just all in his head.

  • Memory & the Past

    MARLIN: Coral, get inside the house, Coral. No, Coral, don't. They'll be fine. Just get inside, you, right now. No! […] There, there, there. It's okay, daddy's here. Daddy's got you. I promise, I will never let anything happen to you... Nemo.

    This memory is pretty much the starting point for this entire movie and for good reason. It's the one moment Marlin can't forget about and that informs every decision he's going to make with his son. Marlin might not have been able to protect his wife and kids, but he's not gonna fail Nemo. No way.

    DORY: I saw a boat.

    MARLIN: You did?

    DORY: Yeah, it went by not too long ago. Follow me… Would you quit it? What, the ocean isn't big enough for you or something like that? You got a problem? Huh? Do ya? Do ya? Do ya? You wanna piece of me? Yeah, yeah! Ooh, I'm scared now! What?

    MARLIN: What? You said you saw a boat.

    DORY: A boat?

    Not such a great introduction. Dory has a memory span of about three-seconds, which can be a problem when you're meeting new people or going off on new adventures. Can this fish with short-term memory loss actually help Marlin?

    DORY: I suffer from short-term memory loss. It runs in my family... At least I think it does... hmm? Where are they?

    Oh, Dory. At least she remembered her diagnosis.

    MARLIN: What did it say? What did the mask say?

    DORY: P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. I remembered what it said! I usually forget things, but I remembered it that time! P. Sherman, 4...

    MARLIN: Wait! What does that mean?

    DORY: I don't know. But who cares! Ha ha! I remembered! P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. I remembered it again!

    A breakthrough! We've already seen that Dory's a bit empty-headed and quick to forget, but here she's making real progress. Not only does she have skills—this fish can read English—but she even remembers a vital piece of information. Maybe this Marlin guy is good for Dory after all?

    DORY: How about we play a game?

    MARLIN: All right.

    DORY: Okay, I'm thinking of something orange, and it's small...

    MARLIN: It's me.

    DORY: Right!... I'm thinking of something orange and small...

    MARLIN: Me again.

    We can't decide—would playing games with Dory be awesome or totally annoying because of her short-term memory? On the plus side, just like Marlin, you'd always win.

    MARLIN: No, no, no! Bad trench, bad trench! Come on, we're swimming over this thing.

    DORY: Whoa, partner. Little red flag going up. Something tells me we should go through it, not over it.

    MARLIN: Are you even looking at this thing? It's got death written all over it!

    DORY: I'm sorry, but I really, really, really think we should go through it.

    MARLIN: And I'm really, really done talking about this. Over we go.

    DORY: Come on, trust me on this one.

    Sure, Dory struggles with calling stuff to mind when she needs to, but all the important info is there in her subconscious. She can read. She speaks whale. And she just knows they should not swim over this trench. Too bad Marlin doesn't think much of Dory's impressive skills just yet.

    DORY: No. No, you can't. Stop! Please don't go away. Please? No one's ever stuck with me for so long before. And if you leave... if you leave... I just… I remember things better with you. I do, look. P. Sherman, forty-two... forty-two... I remember it, I do. It's there. I know it is, because when I look at you, I can feel it. And I look at you, and I... and I'm home. Please... I don't want that to go away. I don't want to forget.

    MARLIN: I'm sorry, Dory, but I do.

    And here's why Dory's stuck with Marlin this whole time. He helps her, too. Other fish don't tend to like her, but Marlin hung with her, and that's why she can remember again. She sees his familiar face—something she's been missing all her life.

    NEMO: Are you all right?

    DORY: I don't know where I am... I don't know what's going on. I think I lost somebody but I, I can't remember... and I can't remember...

    NEMO: It's okay, it's okay. I'm looking for somebody too. Hey, we can look together.

    DORY: I'm Dory.

    NEMO: I'm Nemo.

    DORY: Nemo? That's a nice name.

    So close, Dory. So close. When Nemo runs into forgetful Dory all by her lonesome, we think for a minute that she might recognize him right away. Sure, her recollections have progressed, but not that much. It takes a little more than a name to jog her memory.

  • Perseverance

    NEMO: Can you help me?

    GILL: No. You got yourself in there, you can get yourself out.

    DEB: Ah, Gill...

    GILL: I just want to see him do it, okay? Keep calm. Alternate wriggling your fins and your tail.

    NEMO: I can't. I have a bad fin.

    GILL: Never stopped me. Just think about what you have to do.

    Poor little Nemo. His dad's always protected him, so he never learned to get out of sticky situations using his own moxie. Here, Nemo finds out that he can do things if he just tries. And that lucky fin? It's not holding him back either.

    DORY: Hey, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do?

    MARLIN: I don't wanna know what you gotta do when life gets you down.

    DORY: Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.

    MARLIN: Dory, no singing.

    DORY: Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho! I love to swim! When you want to swim—

    MARLIN: See, I'm going to get stuck now with that song now it's in my head!

    DORY: Sorry.

    This is probably reason #9,478 that we love Dory—she doesn't give up. Her motto is just keep swimming which makes a whole lot of sense when you're a fish who can't remember where she's going and doesn't know where she's been. The only way to get a clue is to keep on pressing on.

    GILL: You see that filter?

    NEMO: Yeah?

    GILL: You're the only one who can get in and out of that thing. What we need you to do is take a pebble inside and jam the gears. You do that and this tank's gonna get filthier and filthier by the minute. Pretty soon, the dentist'll have to clean the tank himself. And when he does, he'll take us out of the tank, put us in the individual baggies, then we roll ourselves down the counter, out of the window, off the awning, into the bushes, across the street and into the harbor! It's foolproof!

    Gill is one determined fish. He hasn't let a few escape attempts gone wrong stop him from coming up with new ideas. This plan isn't quite foolproof, but we like its chances.

    GILL: My first escape, landed on dental tools. I was aiming for the toilet.

    NEMO: Toilet?

    GILL: All drains lead to the ocean, kid.

    NEMO: Wow. How many times have you tried to get out?

    GILL: Ah, I've lost count. Fish aren't meant to be in a box, kid. It does things to you.

    Gill's even suffered because of his persistence. He's got that beat up fin. But, we get the feeling this fish is never gonna stop until he's back in the ocean. That's some dedication.

    GILL: All right, gang, we have less than forty-eight hours before Darla gets here. This tank will get plenty dirty in that time, but we have to help it along any way we can. Jacques?

    JACQUES: Oui.

    GILL: No cleaning.

    JACQUES: I shall resist.

    GILL: Everybody else, be as gross as possible. Think dirty thoughts. We're gonna make this tank so filthy the dentist will have to clean it.

    Okay, this is pretty gross, but the Tank Gang is determined to make this plan work. They're gonna live in their own filth, resist the urge to clean, and get out of this land-based prison. It's a tank break!

    DORY: Oh. Oh, oh, big fella. Big fe—whale. Okay. Maybe he only speaks whale. Mooooo-weeeeeee-neeeeeeed...

    MARLIN: Uh, Dory, what're you doing?

    DORY: Toooooo-fiiiiiiiind...

    MARLIN: What're you doing?

    DORY: His-sooooooooooon...

    MARLIN: Are you sure you speak whale?

    One thing you can say for Dory—she's got guts. Marlin isn't so convinced about her whale-speak abilities, but that doesn't stop Dory from trying dialect after dialect. She's going to get through to this whale somehow.

    MARLIN: No. I promised him I'd never let anything happen to him.

    DORY: Huh. That's a funny thing to promise.

    MARLIN: What?

    DORY: Well, you can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.

    Perseverance is good, but knowing when to give up on an idea is okay, too. Here, Marlin finally realizes that he can't stop Nemo from doing things. No matter what he does or how hard he tries, the kid has got to experience life—both the good and the bad.

    MARLIN: Dory, wake up, wake up. Come on.

    DORY: Duck!

    MARLIN: That's not a duck. It's a—pelican! Whoa!

    DORY: Aaaaaaaaaaaah!

    MARLIN: No! I didn't come this far to be breakfast!

    Oh, now who's learned a little grit and determination? Marlin and Dory are about to be swallowed whole by a pelican when Marlin just straight up refuses to die. He's like Rambo or something. This fish is tough.

  • Transformation

    BRUCE: I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.

    Change is a beautiful thing, but can a shark really change his stripes… or his appetite?

    NEMO: I'm sorry I couldn't stop the...

    GILL: No, I'm the one who should be sorry. I was so ready to get out, so ready to taste that ocean, I was willing to put you in harm's way to get there. Nothing should be worth that.

    And we thought that Gill only cared about escaping. Not true. This tropical fish changes his tune here when he tells Nemo that he should have never let things go so far with the dangerous filter plan.

    NIGEL: Your dad's been fighting the entire ocean looking for you.

    NEMO: My father? Really?

    GILL: Really?

    NIGEL: Oh yeah. He's travelled hundreds of miles. He's been battling sharks and jellyfish and all sorts of—

    NEMO: Sharks? That can't be him.

    Nemo is just sure his scaredy-fish dad isn't out looking for him. This guy is terrified of the ocean, right? But, Nigel's story convinces Nemo that there might be more to his worrywart dad than he thought.

    DORY: He says it's time to let go! Everything's gonna be all right!

    MARLIN: How do you know?! How do you know something bad isn't gonna happen?!

    DORY: I don't!

    MARLIN: Ha-ha-ha! We're alive!

    Whoa. This is a big moment of transformation for Marlin. He realizes that he's treating Dory the same way he treated Nemo—as a helpless little fish. In this moment, Marlin finally realizes that he can't keep his son safe. He can't even keep himself safe. He doesn't know for sure what's going to happen, but he's willing to make the leap (down the whale's throat) and find out.

    NIGEL: Okay, don't make any sudden moves. Hop inside my mouth... if you want to live.

    MARLIN: Hop in your mouth, huh? And how does that make me live?

    SEAGULL: Mine?

    NIGEL: Because… I can take you to your son.

    MARLIN: Yeah, right.

    NIGEL: No, I know your son. He's orange and has a gimpy fin on one side.

    MARLIN: That's Nemo!

    Marlin isn't a trusting fish and we honestly can't blame him for not leaping right into a pelican's mouth. But, throughout his journey, Marlin's had to learn to put his faith in folks he wouldn't have before. Fingers crossed that he doesn't wind up in Nigel's belly.

    MARLIN: Hey, guess what?

    NEMO: What?

    MARLIN: Sea turtles? I met one, and he was a hundred and fifty years old.

    NEMO: Hundred and fifty?

    MARLIN: Yup.

    NEMO: Oh, 'cause Sandy Plankton said that they only live to be a hundred.

    MARLIN: Sandy Plankton? You think I would travel the whole ocean and not know as much as Sandy Plankton? He was a hundred and fifty, not a hundred.

    Okay, Marlin is officially a cool dad. (He's not like a regular dad). He's been across the ocean. He knows about sea turtles. This is not the same panicky fish from the reef.

    MARLIN So just then, the sea cucumber looks over to the mollusk and says: "With fronds like these, who needs anemones"?

    BOB/TED/BILL: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    BOB: But seriously, Marty, did you really do all the things you say you did?

    Oh, and Marlin's funny now, too. Sure, he might have always been a clownfish, but he's finally learned to tell a joke… and earned the admiration of all the other undersea dads.

    NEMO: Bye, dad! Oh! Oh, Mr. Ray! Wait. I forgot something… Love you, Dad.

    MARLIN: I love you too, Son.

    NEMO: Uh, Dad, you can let go now.

    MARLIN: Sorry! Now go have an adventure!

    Excuse us while we get a tissue. This is a really heartwarming moment that shows just how far Marlin and Nemo have come. This father is ready for his son to go off and have an adventure, while the son just loves his dear ol' dad a ton.