50 Best Pay It Forward Movie Quotes and Lines

Changing the world doesn’t always have to be done in big or extraordinary ways. Even small and simple things can change the world for the better. For movie lovers, here is our roundup of ’Pay It Forward Movie Quotes’ that will give you inspirational messages.

This film is full of kindness and inspirational stories which is an adaptation of the novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde published in 1999. The novel itself became popular after the film adaptation was released and was awarded as one of the Best Books for Young Readers in 2001 from the American Library Association.


“Some people are too scared, or something. I guess it’s hard for people who are so used to things the way they are, even if they’re bad, to change. ’Cause they kind of give up. And when they do, everybody kind of loses.” – Trevor McKinney

This is the story of a boy (Trevor McKinney starred by Haley Joel Osment) trying to make the world a better place after accepting a challenge given by his teacher (Mr. Eugene Simonet starred by Kevin Spacey, a chance to earn extra credits.

His social studies teacher gives his class an assignment ’Think of an idea to change our world – and put it into action.’ Trevor created a program called ’Pay It Forward’, where the pattern of his ideas to help other: #1 It is something that really helps people; #2 Something they can’t do it by themselves; #3 Do it for them, then do it for three other people, and so on. So that the amount of goodness increases many times.

However, executing his thought is not an easy matter. There was even a moment when he felt his program had failed. In fact, the program has actually spread and has been practiced by many people. Even a journalist then investigates and explores Trevor’s philosophy to make headlines.

Without buying anytime, enter this Pay It Forward movie quotes and lines.

Pay it forward movie quotes about moral lesson

Trevor: Were you just being nice?
Eugene: About what?
Trevor: About my idea. Do you think it’s good, or were you just being teachery?
Eugene: ’Teacher’?
Trevor: Bullshitting.
Eugene: Do I strike you as someone falsely nice?
Trevor: No. You’re not even really all that nice. — Pay It Forward Movie Quotes

Chris: Is that what you want everybody to do for your birthday? Pay it forward?
Trevor: I can’t ask for that.
Chris: Sure you can. Why not?
Trevor: It wouldn’t work.
Chris: Why?
Trevor: I already blew out my candles. — Pay It Forward Movie Quotes

pay it forward movie quotes about moral lesson 1

Trevor: Is the world just sh*t?
Eugene: No, it isn’t.
Eugene: Hey, you did good work. Look at me, I’m proud of you, Trevor. I’m proud of you.
Eugene: And anyway for what it’s worth, I’m grading you on the effort not the result.
Trevor: I don’t care about the grade. [He gets up. A beat.] I just wanted to see if the world would really change.

Eugene: I will always care… about you, always.
Trevor: Yeah. You’re my teacher. They pay you to.

Boy in class: So I’m going to make this website in Chinese, telling all the people in China to jump up and down.
Eugene: Basically you want to move the earth off its axis.
Boy in class: Yep, pretty much.

Trevor: Are you saying you’ll flunk us if we don’t change the world?
Eugene: Well, no. But you might just scrape by with a C.

Trevor McKinney quotes about the importance of empathy

Thorsen: I thanked him and there were some very specific orifices in which I was told to shove my thanks. He told me, “Just pay it forward.” Three big favors for three other people. That’s it.
Chris Chandler: So it’s like a pass-it-on thing, then. Wait a minute. You and this lowlife are in this chain of do-gooders, some kind of Mother Theresa conga line? That’s a little New-Agey for you, isn’t it? Sort of Tibetan? What, are you in a cult?
Thorsen: If you mention my name, you’ll be selling your kidneys to pay for your lawsuit. Cult.
Chris Chandler: Hey, the guy. What was the guy’s name?
Thorsen: [as he’s walking away] Sorry, I’m late for my mass wedding. — Pay It Forward Movie Quotes

Trevor McKinney quotes about life change 2

Chris Chandler: Come on. You start a movement like Pay It Forward. You’re not proud?
Trevor: I guess. I mean, I – I got an A in Social Studies, but, uh, that was just for the effort. I mean, stuff I did, it didn’t really work out.
Chris Chandler: You’re here.
Trevor: Yeah, but… I don’t know. I tried real hard, but… nothing really happened. My mom’s stuff worked. She talked to my grandma. Kinda made up with her. It was really hard for her. It was great for me, ’cause my grandma came to my birthday party. And I had really missed her. And that’s why Pay It Forward went all those places. ’Cause my mom. ’Cause she was so brave. My stuff, I… I don’t know. I think some people are too scared or something to think that things can be different. And – I mean, the world’s – the world’s not exactly… sh*t. I guess it’s hard for some people who are so used to things the way they are, even if they are, to change. And they kinda give up. When they do, everybody kinda… kinda lose.

Trevor: It’s hard. You can’t plan it. You have… you have to watch people more. You know, sort of, sorta keep an eye on ’em. To protect ’em, ’cause… they can’t always see what they need. It’s – it’s like your big chance to fix something that’s not like your bike. You can fix a person.
Chris Chandler: Is that what you want for your birthday? Everybody to pay it forward?
Trevor: I can’t ask for that.
Chris Chandler: Sure, you can. Why not?
Trevor: It wouldn’t work.
Chris Chandler: Why?
Trevor: I already blew out my candles. — Pay It Forward Movie Quotes

Arlene McKinney and Eugene lines on the assignment (first meet)

Arlene McKinney: [Storming into the room] Mr. Simonet?
Eugene: Yes, I’m Eugene…
[Looks up from his desk to see Arlene]
Eugene: …Simonet.
Arlene McKinney: [Taken aback by Eugene’s scars] Hello.
Eugene: Hello.
Arlene McKinney: What is this assignment?
Eugene: Excuse me?
Arlene McKinney: What did you tell my son to make him bring a homeless man into my house?
Eugene: Uh, I have two problems. One: I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. And two: I don’t know who you are.
Arlene McKinney: Arlene McKinney. My boy is in your social studies class… Trevor.
Eugene: Trevor. Yes, he’s very attentive. He’s very exigent, which I like.
[Noticing some confusion on Arlene’s face]
Eugene: Exigent, it’s challenging, testing…
Arlene McKinney: I know what it means! Would you like to tell me why my kid brought a bum into my house?
Eugene: I have no idea…
Arlene McKinney: Bullshit!
Eugene: Mrs. McKinney, I don’t know how your son interpreted the assignment.
Arlene McKinney: How do you think he interpreted it?
Eugene: Well, I don’t know. My suggestion is, if you want to know, why don’t you go home and talk to your son?
Arlene McKinney: Hey! I talked to him!
Eugene: Really? Then why did you come all the way down here to ask me what the assignment is?
[Points to the blackboard]
Eugene: It’s not a state secret.

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Pay it forward quotes movie about life lesson

Chris: You want me to drive home in your car?
Thorsen: No, I want you to take my car. Had a lot of luck lately. I don’t need it.
Chris: You’re giving me a brand-new Jaguar, and you don’t want anything?
Thorsen: I can prove it. Give me your card.
[Chris gives Thorsen a business card]
Thorsen: I’ll be in touch.
Chris: Whoa, what is this? What, you want me to kill your wife or something?
Thorsen: No. Tempting, but no. Call it generosity between two strangers. — Pay It Forward Movie Quotes

Eugene: Arlene… I don’t wanna be one of those people he’s talking about. And I’ve become one. I don’t wanna spend another second of wasted air. Please don’t let me stay trapped in here forever.
Arlene McKinney: I won’t.
Eugene: I don’t wanna spend another second without you.

Chris Chandler quotes 4

Eugene: OK. You know, I’m going to have to consult my spirit guides here, because you tell me that Trevor is withholding from you, but you won’t tell me anything specific and you still want me to sit here and divine why.
Arlene McKinney: Divine why? You always talk like that?
Eugene: Yes.
Arlene McKinney: You go to some big, fancy school?
Eugene: Yes.
Arlene McKinney: Think you can stop rubbing my nose in it? — Pay It Forward Movie Quotes

Arlene McKinney: I got to take a shower.
Trevor: What?
Arlene McKinney: I smell horrible.
Trevor: No you don’t! You smell like a rose or something.
Arlene McKinney: Are you sure?
Trevor: Yeah, yeah, I’m sure.

Arlene McKinney: So, is that all you want? Your goddamn manageable day?
Eugene: It’s what I have.
Arlene McKinney: No, it isn’t.
Eugene: It is what I’ve always had.
Arlene McKinney: Is it what you want? — Pay It Forward Movie Quotes

Jerry: You ever been on the street?
Arlene McKinney: My mom took us pretty close.
Jerry: Well, you can’t know. Not until you look at a dumpster. But when you climb into that thing for the first time and you pull those newspapers over you, that’s when you know you’ve messed your life up. Somebody comes along like your son, and gives me a leg up, I’ll take it. Even from a kid, I’ll take it.

Sean: I’m gonna put up this website in Chinese. It’s gonna tell all the kids in China to jump up and down at the same time. [A beat. He heads back to his seat.]
Eugene: The goal being to knock the earth off its axis?
Sean: Yeah.
Eugene: Thank you. Sit down, Sean. Well, you’re ideas are as surprising as they are variegated. Add this to your list of words to look up this evening. But, I wanna focus one moment on one project we heard today. Because I’ve been teaching for many years, and it really is the first new idea that also requires an extreme active faith in the goodness of people. Trevor has made an attempt to interact with the world, and that was the assignment. And if I were an effusive person, given to easy praise, I would call that admirable.

Emotional pay it forward lines about the scars

Eugene: I know what I’m talking about, Arlene! My father got down on his knees and begged my mother. And my mothers he always took him back. I never understood it. she’d cover up the bruises and the cuts and she’d take him back. Because he begged and he cried. And now you ask me, you ask me what happened after he came back.
Arlene McKinney: I…
Eugene: No! Go on! You said you wanted to know what happened to me, now ask me!
Arlene McKinney: I don’t like this…
Eugene: Did he hurt you, Eugene? Ask me!
Arlene McKinney: Did he hurt you?
Eugene: [shakes his head] Not for long. By 13 I was gone. I ran away. But I missed her so… I had to go back and see her. So one night I did. Now, ask me what happened. What happened that night you came back, Eugene?
Arlene McKinney: What happened?
Eugene: He was there. Drunk. As usual. Only this time I wasn’t the same. I was 16 years old and I was no longer afraid of him. And when I looked him in the eyes and told him if he ever touched her again I would kill him, he knew. He knew that he would never exist for me again. And I’m standing in front of the house. I’m yelling, screaming for her to come out. I’m telling her she doesn’t have to take it anymore. She really doesn’t. She can come with me now. I don’t even see it. He hits me in the side of the head with a two-by-four and I’m bleeding from my ear. And then he’s dragging me. He’s dragging me behind the house into the garage. And then he’s gone. A minute… five minutes… I don’t know. And then he’s back. And he’s wetting me down. He’s wetting me down and I don’t understand. I don’t understand why water… should smell so bad. I don’t understand. And then I see it. I see… this… this gas can. This red gas can from his truck.

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Eugene: And he looks at me one last time… and he lights a match. And the last thing I remember, I’ll never forget it, were his eyes. His eyes because they were filled with this immense… satisfaction.
Arlene McKinney: [Crying] I’m so sorry…
Eugene: Don’t! Don’t! Don’t tell me how sorry you are for me! Tell me how you’re going to stop that happening to Trevor!
Arlene McKinney: Ricky would never do that!
Eugene: Oh, Jesus, Arlene! He doesn’t have to. All he has to do is not love him.
[Turns around and walks into his house with his grocery bags] — Pay It Forward Movie Quotes

Final thought

Being kind not only leaves a positive impact on others, but it has a positive impact on yourself as well and helps increase your own happiness. Now, it is about time to start spreading the love and help each other even more.

Hopefully, these pay it forward movie quotes an lines have inspired you to start spreading the love. Which of the quotes from the movie was your favorite? We would love to hear all about in the comment section below.

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