The Godfather Catchphrases

The Godfather is considered to be an American masterpiece, with a host of classic lines and catchphrases. The Godfather and its sequels remain some of the most widely quoted, imitated, and parodied movies of all time.

The Godfather became a near-instant cult classic and was followed by two more movies. The franchise continues to be loved by many, studied in film classes, and revered by generation after generation.

Make him an offer: illustration of don corleone in The Godfather Make him an offer: illustration of don corleone in The Godfather

The Godfather's Classic Quotes

It's probably no surprise that a classic such as this produced popular catchphrases. Many of The Godfather quotes are instantly recognizable and continue to be repeated, even today. The Godfather catchphrases have also been used in other books, movies, and television shows. Even board games such as Movie Scene It! also have fun with The Godfather quotes.

Here are some of the most famous lines from the Godfather trilogy:

The Godfather

Vito Corleone:

  • I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse.
  • Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me.
  • A man who doesn't spend time with his family cannot be a real man.
  • If, by chance, an honest man like yourself should make enemies then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.
  • A friend should always underestimate your virtues and an enemy overestimate your faults.
  • Everyone's got their own circle of sorrow.
  • No Sicilian can refuse a request on his daughter's wedding day.
  • I never wanted this for you. I work my whole life, I don't apologize, to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots.
  • I spent my life trying not to be careless.

Michael Corleone:

  • Don't tell me you're innocent. It insults my intelligence and makes me very angry.
  • Don't ever take sides against anyone in the family again, ever.
  • It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business.
  • All right. This one time I'll let you ask me about my affairs.

Peter Clemenza:

  • It's a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.
  • Leave the gun, take the cannoli.


  • I don't like violence, Tom. I'm a businessman; blood is a big expense.

The Godfather, Part II

Michael Corleone:

  • I don't feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies.
  • If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it's that you can kill anyone.
  • He was stupid. I was lucky.
  • I've learned that I have the strength to change.

Hyman Roth:

  • I don't trust a doctor who can hardly speak English.
  • I want all of you to enjoy your cake, so… enjoy.
  • This is the business we've chosen.

The Godfather, Part III

Michael Corleone:

  • Never hate your enemies, it affects your judgment.
  • Never let anyone know what you're thinking.
  • Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.
  • Friends and money — oil and water.
  • When they come, they come at what you love.
  • Your enemies always get strong on what you leave behind.
  • He'd better be careful. It's dangerous to be an honest man.
  • The higher I go, the crookeder it becomes.

Don Altobello:

  • The richest man is the one with the most powerful friends.
  • Treachery is everywhere.


  • Power wears out those who do not have it.

Albert Volpe:

  • We should wet our beaks a little.

Kay Corleone

  • It never ends.

About The Godfather

The Godfather stars some big-name actors such as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, and Diane Keaton. Made in 1972, the movie was based on a novel by Mario Puzo. Together, Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola, and Robert Towne created the screenplay. Francis Ford Coppola went on to direct the movie.

The movie won three Academy Awards in 1973 for Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture and was nominated for eight other awards. The Godfather has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. It was ranked second on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Movies list, losing out to Citizen Kane for the top spot.


Set in the 1940s, The Godfather tells the story of a Mafia family. It opens with the lavish wedding of Vito Corleone’s daughter, where Vito hears requests in his role as the godfather, or Don, of the Corleone family.

A few months later, Vito turns down a drug baron Sollozzo who wants help with his business. Sollozzo puts out a hit on Vito, but he survives. Although his younger son Michael has always kept himself out of the family business, when he discovers his father’s life is still in danger, he kills Sollozzo.

Gang war breaks out as Michael flees to Sicily. Michael’s older brother Sonny is running the show now but is soon killed. An attempt on Michael’s life kills his Sicilian wife.

Michael returns to New York and takes full control of the family after Vito dies of a heart attack. Michael then sets out to kill everyone who crossed the Corleones.


Common Sayings

Who knew something as common as, "It's not personal. It's business," can be linked to The Godfather? It’s a common theme in all three movies and it's interesting to see how a line from a book or movie could turn into an everyday colloquialism, even before the days of social media.

The next time you want to wax philosophical, tell one of your friends, "Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment." See if they're as keen on The Godfather catchphrases as you!