Aibileen Clark: You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
Missus Walters: I may have trouble remembering my own name, or what country I live in, but there are two things I can't seem to forget: that my own daughter threw me into a nursing home, and that she ate Minny's shit.
Constantine Jefferson: What you doin' hiding out here, girl?
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: I just couldn't tell mama I didn't get invited to the dance.
Constantine Jefferson: That's all right. Some things we just got to keep to ourselves.
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: The boys say I'm ugly. Mama was the third runner-up in the Miss South Carolina pageant...
Constantine Jefferson: Now you quit feeling sorry for yourself. Now that's ugly. Ugly is something that grows up from inside you. It's mean and hurtful, like them boys. Now you not one of them, is you?
[Skeeter shakes her head]
Constantine Jefferson: I didn't think so, honey. Every day you're not dead in the ground, when you wake up in the morning, you're gonna have to make some decisions. Got to ask yourself this question: "Am I gonna believe all them bad things them fools say about me today?" You hear me? "Am I gonna believe all them bad things them fools say about me today? You hear me today?" All right? As for your mama, she didn't pick her life. It picked her. But you, you're gonna do something big with yours. You wait and see.
Minny Jackson: Minny don't burn fried chicken.
Mae Mobley: You my real mama, Aibi.
Aibileen Clark: I was born 1911, Chicksaw County, Piedmont Plantation.
Woman: And did you know as a girl growing up that one day you'd be a maid?
Aibileen Clark: Yes ma'am, I did.
Woman: And you knew that because...
Aibileen Clark: My mama was a maid. My grandmama was a house slave.
Woman: [whispering as she writes down] "house slave..." Did you ever dream of being something else?
Aibileen Clark: [nods yes]
Woman: What does it feel like to raise a white child when your own child's at home being looked after by somebody else?
Hilly Holbrook: Maybe I can't send you to jail for what you wrote, but I can send you for being a thief.
Aibileen Clark: I know something about you. Don't you forget that. From what Yule Mae says, there's a lot of time to write letters in jail. Plenty of time to write the truth about you. And the paper is free.
Hilly Holbrook: Nobody will believe what you wrote!
Aibileen Clark: I don't know. I been told I'm a pretty good writer, already sold a lot of books!
Charlotte Phelan: You know Hilly, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you've been eating too much *pie*.
Aibileen Clark: In just ten minutes, the only life I knew was done.
Mae Mobley: [calling after her through the window] A-a-a-aibee!
Aibileen Clark: God says we need to love our enemies. It hard to do. But it can start by telling the truth. No one had ever asked me what it feel like to be me. Once I told the truth about that, I felt free. And I got to thinking about all the people I know. And the things I seen and done. My boy Trelaw always said we gonna have a writer in the family one day. I guess it's gonna be me.
Johnny Foote: Listen, Celia finally told me about the babies. All of them. But I also know that the minute you started working here, she started getting better. You saved her life.
Minny Jackson: You mean, you knew I'd been working here this whole time?
Johnny Foote: Fried chicken and okra the first night? I mean, you all could have at least put some cornpone on the table.
Minny Jackson: No, I can't let you eat no more cornpone, Mr. Johnny.
Johnny Foote: Well, thanks to you, now I've have to let out every pair of pants I own.
Aibileen Clark: 18 people were killed in Jackson that night. 10 white and 8 black. I don't think God has color in mind when he sets a tornado loose.
Celia Foote: There you are! I'm starved. Looks so good!
[sits down with Minny to have lunch]
Minny Jackson: We done been over this, Miss Celia. You're supposed to eat in the dining room, that's how it works. Here, let me take your plate back.
Celia Foote: [assertively, yet with respect, holding her plate] I'm fine right here, Minny.
Minny Jackson: [to Skeeter] You ain't got nothing left here but enemies in the Junior League. You done burned every bridge there is. And you ain't never gonna get another man in this town, everybody know that. So don't walk your white butt to New York, run it!
Charlotte Phelan: Courage sometimes skips a generation. Thank you for bringing it back to our family.
Hilly Holbrook: They carry different diseases than we do. That's why I've drafted the Home Health Sanitation Initiative.
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: The what?
Hilly Holbrook: A disease-preventative bill that requires every white home to have a separate bathroom for the colored help. It's been endorsed by the White Citizen's Council.
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: Maybe we should just build you a bathroom outside, Hilly.
Hilly Holbrook: I specifically said, "Drop old *coats* at my house", not *commodes*!
Charlotte Phelan: Love and hate are two horns on the same goat, Eugenia. And you need a goat.
Minny Jackson: [Johnny's escorted Minny to the house where Celia has an elegant meal on the table] What's this?
Celia Foote: [proudly] I cooked it all by myself.
Johnny Foote: Yes she did. She was up all night.
Celia Foote: I wanted to do something special. I wanted to say thank you.
Minny Jackson: So, I ain't losing my job?
Celia Foote: [shaking her head in surprise] No.
Johnny Foote: You have a job here for the rest of your life. If you want it.
Minny Jackson: [smiles in acceptance] That's a mile high meringue, Miss Celia?
Hilly Holbrook: [check from Celia Foote] Pay to the order of: Two Slice Hilly, $200.00.
[tears it up]
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: I'm sorry, but were you dropped on your head as an infant? Or were you just born stupid?
Preacher Green: If you can love your enemy, you already have victory.
Minny Jackson: Fried chicken just tend to make you feel better about life.
Aibileen Clark: Mrs. Leefolt should not be having babies. Put that in the book.
Aibileen Clark: [to Hilly] All you do is scare and lie to try and get what you want.
Charlotte Phelan: Your eggs are dying. Would it kill you to go on a date?
Aibileen Clark: I ain't never had no white person in my house before.
Mr. Blackly: I guarantee you, one day they're going to figure out cigarettes will kill you.
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: What the hell? What are you doing here?
[Hilly throws her cigarette at Skeeter]
Hilly Holbrook: I contacted my lawyer. Hibby Goodman? He is the best libel attorney in the state. Oh, Missy, you are going to jail!
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: You can't prove anything!
Hilly Holbrook: Oh, I 100% know you wrote it, 'cause nobody in this town is as tacky as you!
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: [Pokes Hilly] You don't know anything, Hilly!
Hilly Holbrook: [Shoves Skeeter] Oh, I don't, do I? You tell Abilene the next time she wants to write about my good friend Elizabeth... Hm? Remember her? Had you in her wedding?... Let's just say Abilene should have been a bit smarter before writing about that L-shaped scratch in poor Elizabeth's dining table.
[takes off her sunglasses]
Hilly Holbrook: And that nigger Minny... do I have plans for her.
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: Careful, Hilly. That's chapter 12.
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: Don't give yourself away now.
Hilly Holbrook: That was not me!
Charlotte Phelan: Get your raggedy ass off my porch.
Aibileen Clark: Miss Leefolt got so much hairspray on her head, she gonna blow us allup if she light a cigarette.
Stuart Whitworth: Isn't that what all you girls from Ole Miss major in - professional husband hunting?
Elizabeth Leefolt: [after Mae Mobley has used a toilet dropped on Hilly's lawn, Elizabeth pulls her off and spanks her; crying sounds are heard offscreen] You will get a disease from those toilets!
Mr. Blackly: Shut that goddamn door!
Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: Oysters are a vehicle for crackers and ketchup.