Homer: No. Coal mining may be your life, but it's not mine. I'm never going down there again. I wanna go into space.

Homer: [to John] Dad, I may not be the best, but I come to believe that I got it in me to be somebody in this world. And it's not because I'm so different from you either, it's because I'm the same. I mean, I can be just as hard-headed, and just as tough. I only hope I can be as good a man as you. Sure, Wernher von Braun is a great scientist, but he isn't my hero.

Quentin: [shooting off their last rocket] Look at it go, Homer. This one's gunna go for miles.

O'Dell: God's honest truth, Homer. What are the chances... a bunch of kids from Coalwood... actually winning the national science fair?

Homer: A million to one, O'Dell.

O'Dell: That good? Well, why didn't you say so?

Quentin: What do you want to know about rockets?

Homer: Everything.

Homer: Man, we should be trying to get into that science fair instead of sitting around here like a bunch of hillbillies.

Roy Lee: Well, I got some real sad news for you Homer. We *are* a bunch of hillbillies.

John: Elsie, I don't have the power to settle this strike.

Elsie: The bosses listen to you. They'll do what you tell them.

John: I'm not gonna crawl on my belly infront of those miserable union rats.

Elsie: Is that what this is about? Is this about your pride?

John: It's about what's best for Coalwood. If this mine doesn't produce, then the town dies. Think the union gives a damn about that? They're nothin' but a bunch of greedy sons of bitches...

Elsie: Shut up. Just shut up.

[John is silent]

Elsie: Homer once said you love the mine more than your own family. I stook up for you because I didn't want to believe it. Homer has gotten alot of help from the people in this town. They've helped him build his rockets. They've watched him fly 'em. But not you. You never showed up, not even once. I'm not asking you to believe in it, but he's your son, for God's sake. And I am asking you to help him. If you don't, I'll leave you. I'll do whatever it takes to get away from here. I will work, if that's what it takes. I'll live in a tree to get away from you. Don't think I won't.

John: Where would you go?

Elsie: [a beat] Myrtle Beach.

[she walks away]

Quentin: They watched us get arrested. We're practically ex-convicts. They'll never dance with us.

O'Dell: Jesus, Quentin, you don't know anything about women.

Homer: [to his dad] Sure Dr. Von Braun is a great scientist, but he isn't my hero.

Homer: [after Homer sees the tiny shack that Quentin lives in with his family] Quentin, I wouldn't care if you lived in the Governor's mansion. I'd still think you're weird!

Principal Turner: Miss Riley, our job is to give these kids an education.

Miss Riley: Mmm-hmm.

Principal Turner: Not false hopes.

Miss Riley: False hopes? Do you want me to sit quiet, let 'em breathe in coal dust the rest of their life?

Principal Turner: Miss Riley, once in a while... a lucky one... will get out on a football scholarship. The rest of 'em work in the mines.

Miss Riley: How 'bout I believe in the unlucky ones? Hmm? I have to, Mister Turner, I'd go out of my mind.

[imitating, incorrectly, Quentin's favorite saying]

Roy Lee: Prodigenous!

Roy Lee: Are you sure we need this nozzle thing?

Quentin: Are you kidding? The nozzle is the most important part - it directs the flow of the hot gases!

Roy Lee: Hey, cool it, Quentin! Man, talkin' 'bout your 'hot gases'...

Homer: Listen, I'm sorry about what's going on around here, but it isn't my fault! What do you want from me anyway?

John: You better watch yourself, Homer.

Homer: If I go on to win at Indianapolis, I can go to college, maybe even get a job at Cape Canaveral. There's nothing here for me. The town is dying! The mine is dying! Everybody here knows that but you!

John: You want to get out so bad, then go. Go!

Homer: Yeah, I'll go! Yeah, I'll go!

John: GO! GO!

Homer: And I'll be gone forever! I won't even look back!

Roy Lee: I'll tell you what's unbelievable... captain of the football team being jealous of you.

John: Vernon!

[slams Vernon against the wall]

Vernon: We ain't at the mine now Hickham! This ain't your business!

John: [to Roy Lee] You wait in the car with Homer, son.

[to Vernon]

John: Now you listen to me you drunken son of a bitch. If that boy's father were still alive, he'd kick your ass. So I'm gonna have to do it for him. If I see him with a bruise... you get a scar. If I see him with a limp... you get *crutches*! Do you hear me? Do you hear me?

[lets Vernon go]

Vernon: I'm reportin' you to the union!

John: Screw you and your damn union.

Homer: [Reading the newspaper aloud] "The silvery cylinder burst forth in a fiery column of smoke and flame, racing the very wind as it soared into the sky, a messenger of these Rocket Boys of Big Creek.


Homer: These boys use their brains, not brawn, who play not football, but with Apollo's fire."

O'Dell: [Chuckles]

Dorothy Platt: [Walks up to Homer, elated] Hi Homer.

Homer: [Quietly] Hi Dorothy.

Dorothy Platt: Would you please sign my newspaper?

Homer: Sure.

Dorothy Platt: I just know you're going to be really famous someday.

Homer: [Stares at Dorothy, mesmerized]

Roy Lee: H - O - M - E - R

Homer: You know, it, uh, won't fly unless somebody pushes the button. It's yours, if you want it.

Roy Lee: I don't know why they'd drop a bomb on this place, be a heck of a waste of a bomb.

Roy Lee: That's a good idea. Four unidentifiable high school students lost their lives early this morning when their toy rocket exploded.

Elsie: Your father always has to be the big hero. I swear if he dies I won't shed a tear.

O'Dell: Besides, didn't your dad say no more rockets?

Homer: No, he said no more rockets on company property.

O'Dell: Do you realize how far we'd have to go to be off company property?

Homer: Yeah, we'd have to go to Snakeroot.

Quentin: Snakeroot? That's eight miles!

Homer: It's not *that* far. I mean we could walk if we had to...

O'Dell: Hey, walk! Heh! That's a great idea!

Homer: Come on let's go!

Roy Lee: Wait the hell up, will you Homer? Now I got about as much chance of winning that science fair as you do winning a football scholarship. I know I'm gonna be a miner. I've known my entire life. What the hell's so bad about mining coal anyway?

Homer: Nothing Roy Lee. It's great. That's why your stepdaddy is the biggest drunk in West Virginia! I mean, come on guys! You know the mine'll kill you!

[to Quentin]

Homer: You ever hear the story about how O'Dell's dad died?

Roy Lee: Homer... will you forget it, man?

O'Dell: Shut up, Homer.

Homer: Piece of slate caught him right in the neck... and it cut his head clear off.

O'Dell: [tackles Homer] You son of a bitch!

HomerRoy LeeO'Dell: [after lighting their first rocket] Ten, nine, eight...

Roy Lee: Should we get behind something?

[it blows up and they fly back]

Quentin: [Homer calls Quentin Nigerian] I am not Nigerian!

Homer: Why're the jocks the only ones who get to go to college?

Roy Lee: They're also the only ones who get the girls.

Roy Lee: Let them have outer space. We got rock 'n' roll.

Roy Lee: That thing had better fly, or you can kiss your chances of losing your virginity goodbye.

John: [to Leon, about helping Homer] Don't you have some work to do?

Homer: [jumps into Roy Lee's car to go to football tryouts] Let's go, Roy Lee! It's almost nine.

Roy Lee: You sure are in a hurry to get yourself killed, huh, kid?

O'Dell: There are easier ways to commit suicide, Homer.

Homer: Would you just step on it, Roy Lee?

Roy Lee: [frustrated with his car] I *am* stepping on it.

[Insisting John help his son]

Elsie: If you don't, I'll leave you. I'll find work. I'll do whatever it takes to get away from here. I'll live in a tree to get away from you. Don't you think I won't.

John: [Softly] Where would you go?

Elsie: Myrtle Beach.

O'Dell: [after hearing train whistle coming towards wrecked track] I-It's abandoned. Uh, look at the rust. Caretta number two shut down in '51.

[whistle blows again]

O'Dell: Shit, shit!

[a mine worker, formerly one of the Tuskegee Airmen, almost gets hit when he watches Homer launch a rocket]

Leon Bolden: Homer, I flew with the Red Tails in World War II. And seein' that rocket come at me... it almost took me back there.

[about Homer going to college]

Jim Hickam: Yeah, on a science fiction scholarship, maybe.

Jake Mosby: Buck up, Homer. You're a Coalwood boy! You get down there, get that shovel in your hands, coaldust on your neck, feel just as natural as a tick on a dog.

Homer: [gunshot in background] Hey Quentin!

[another gunshot]

Homer: That rocket had to have gone up at least 100 feet didn't it?

Quentin: More like two hundred.

[another gunshot]

Homer: Goddammit.

Homer: [another gunshot] Will you cut it out, Roy Lee?

Roy Lee: Die you son of a bitch!

[fires another round into the grill of his broken down car]

Roy Lee: H-O-M-E-R.

Homer: Well actually, my family raised me and send me to school and feed me and all that other stuff my friends didn't do. Besides who cares about my launch!

Homer: Did you ever see Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man?

Jim Hickam: [at football practice] Hey, Lenny; take it easy on my kid brother, but make it look good, all right?

Jim Hickam: [Homer is tackled hard] I thought I told you to take it easy on him.

Lenny: I *did* take it easy on him

Homer: [playing against Lenny] I'm gonna run right over you, you son of a bitch! You hear me?

[is tackled several times more]

Coach Gainer: [helping Homer up] Well, Homer, you've sure got guts; but ya gotta know when to quit.

Roy Lee: What's an auk?

O'Dell: It's a bird that don't fly.

Roy Lee: You mean like a parakeet?

John: [after a cave in] Come on. Come on, Jensen. Come on back.

Jensen: What happened?

Jake Mosby: Whole damn mountain about fell on your head. And John here, he saved your life.

Homer: [proud] That's my dad.

John: I want you out of this mine, and don't you ever come back, you stupid son of a bitch. Didn't I tell you to watch those pillars? Now we coulda all been killed today, because you didn't have the sense to look up!

Homer: [ashamed] That's my dad.

Homer: My family is not more important than my friends. My dad won't even come to one launch!

Roy Lee: [after a rocket launch] Holy shit, it's headed for the mine.

[beat, then runs]