100+ Chilling Hannibal Lecter Quotes

Hannibal Lecter Quotes

Novelist Thomas Harris created the fictional character of Hannibal Lecter, who is a serial killer that also eats the people he kills. Lecter was a Dr. as before he was captured, he used to be a very respected forensic psychiatrist. In this article, we will explore the most chilling and mesmerizing Hannibal Lecter quotes.

After Lecter was caught and put in jail, he started consulting and helping FBI agents Clarice Starling and Will Graham in order to help the FBI and law enforcement find and catch other serial killers.

Apart from books, obviously, Hannibal Lecter has made it to the big screen and to TV as well. In 1986, Michael Mann adapted the novel Red Dragon into a movie titled Manhunter. The character of Hannibal Lecter was played by Brian Cox, who based his performance on Peter Manuel, who was a Scottish serial killer.

In 1991, the movie The Silence of the Lambs that was directed by Jonathan Demme saw light. The character of Hannibal Lecter was played by Anthony Hopkins who also won the Academy Award for his role, in what would become the most famous and memorable role of Hannibal Lecter. In 2001, Anthony Hopkins continued to play the role of Hannibal Lecter in the movie Hannibal, directed by Ridley Scott. In 2002, another Red Dragon movie was produced, with Hopkins still playing the role of Lecter.

The novel Hannibal Rising was also adapted into a movie in 2007, and the roles of Lecter were played by Aaran Thomas (8-year old Lecter) and Gaspard Ulliel (young man).

There was also a TV series by the name of Hannibal, and in it Mads Mikkelsen plays the role of Lecter. The series aired for 3 seasons from 2013 to 2015.

Here is a sneak peek at the quotes in this article:

Hannibal Lecter Manhunter Quotes (1986)

Hannibal Lecter: Have you ever seen blood in the moonlight, Will? It appears quite black.


Will Graham: I know that I’m not smarter than you.

Hannibal Lecter: Then how did you catch me?

Will Graham: You had disadvantages.

Hannibal Lecter: What disadvantages?

Will Graham: You’re insane.


Hannibal Lecter: if one does what God does enough times, one will become as God is.


Hannibal Lecter: You came here to get a look at me, to get the old scent back again, didn’t you? Would you like to leave me your home phone number? Do you know how you caught me? The reason you caught me, Will, is we’re just alike. Do you understand? Smell yourself.


Hannibal Lecter: Hello, Will. I want to congratulate you on the job you did on Mr. Lounds. I admire that enormously. Oh, what a cunning boy you are!

Will Graham: I’m sick of you crazy sons of bitches, Lecter. You got something to say, say it.

Hannibal Lecter: I want to help you. You would be more comfortable if you would relax with yourself. We don’t invent our natures; they’re issued to us, along with our lungs and pancreas and everything else. Why fight it?


Will Graham: Why does it feel good, Dr. Lecter?

Hannibal Lecter: lt feels good because God has power.


Hannibal Lecter Silence of the Lambs Quotes (1991)

Hannibal Lecter: A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.


Hannibal Lecter: I do wish we could chat longer, but… I’m having an old friend for dinner. Bye.


Hannibal Lecter: Well, Clarice. Have the lambs stopped screaming?


Hannibal Lecter: All good things to those who wait.


Clarice Starling: Where are you, Dr. Lecter?

Hannibal Lecter: I have no plans to call on you, Clarice. The world is more interesting with you in it.


Hannibal Lecter: Look for severe childhood disturbances associated with violence. Our Billy wasn’t born a criminal, Clarice. He was made one through years of systematic abuse. Billy hates his own identity, you see, and he thinks that makes him a transsexual. But his pathology is a thousand times more savage and more terrifying.


Hannibal Lecter: Why do you think he removes their skins, Agent Starling? Enthrall me with your acumen.

Clarice Starling: It excites him. Most serial killers keep some sort of trophies from their victims.

Hannibal Lecter: I didn’t.

Clarice Starling: No. No, you ate yours.


Hannibal Lecter: You’re very frank, Clarice. I think it would be quite something to know you in private life.


Clarice Starling: Did you do all these drawings, Doctor?

Hannibal Lecter: Ah. That is the Duomo seen from the Belvedere. Do you know Florence?

Clarice Starling: All that detail just from memory, sir?

Hannibal Lecter: Memory, Agent Starling, is what I have instead of a view.


Clarice Starling: If you didn’t kill him, then who did, sir?

Hannibal Lecter: Who can say. Best thing for him, really. His therapy was going nowhere.


Hannibal Lecter: Closer, please. Clo-ser…


Hannibal Lecter: You fly back to school, now, little Starling. Fly, fly, fly…


Hannibal Lecter: I would not have had that happen to you, discourtesy is unspeakably ugly to me.


Clarice Starling: Doctor, we don’t have any more time for any of this now.

Hannibal Lecter: But we don’t reckon time the same way, do we, Clarice?


Hannibal Lecter: You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste. Good nutrition’s given you some length of bone, but you’re not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling?


Hannibal Lecter: How do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer now.

Clarice Starling: No. We just…

Hannibal Lecter: No. We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don’t you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don’t your eyes seek out the things you want?


Hannibal Lecter: Brave Clarice. You will let me know when those lambs stop screaming, won’t you?


Hannibal Lecter: I’ve been in this room for eight years, now Clarice, and I know they’ll never let me out, not while I’m alive. What I want is a view where I can see a tree or even water. I want to be in a federal institution far away from Doctor Chiltern. I’ll help you catch him, Clarice.


Hannibal Lecter: Yes or no, Clarice? Poor little Catherine is waiting.


Hannibal Lecter: You still wake up sometimes, don’t you? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs.


Hannibal Lecter: Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center. Sounds charming.


Hannibal Lecter: Garden-variety Manic Depressive. Tedious, very tedious. I did not kill him; I assure you just tucked him away, very much as I found him after he’d missed three appointments.


Hannibal Lecter Hannibal Quotes (2001)

Hannibal Lecter: As your mother tells you, and my mother certainly told me, it is important, she always used to say, always to try new things.


Hannibal Lecter: People don’t always tell you what they are thinking. They just see to it that you don’t advance…in life.


Hannibal Lecter: Tell me Clarice, would you ever say to me “Stop. If you loved me, you’d stop”?

Clarice Starling: Not in a thousand years.

Hannibal Lecter: “Not in a thousand years”… That’s my girl.


Hannibal Lecter: would they have you back, you think? The FBI? Those people you despise almost as much as they despise you. Would they give you a medal, Clarice, do you think? Would you have it professionally framed and hang it on your wall to look at and remind you of your courage and incorruptibility? All you would need for that, Clarice, is a mirror.


Hannibal Lecter: Okey-dokey. Here we go.


Hannibal Lecter: This is really gonna hurt.


Clarice Starling: I’ll cut you loose. If you touch me, I’ll shoot you.

Hannibal Lecter: Understood.

Clarice Starling: Do right, and you’ll live through this.

Hannibal Lecter: Spoken like a true Protestant.


Hannibal Lecter: Paul, remember what I said. If you can’t be polite to our guests, you have to sit at the kiddies’ table.


Hannibal Lecter: Clarice, there’s nothing I’d love more in the world than to chat with you. Unfortunately, you’ve caught me at an awkward moment. Please forgive me.


Hannibal Lecter: Are you by any chance trying to trace my whereabouts, you naughty girl?


Hannibal Lecter: On a related note I must confess to you, I’m giving very serious thought… to eating your wife.


Hannibal Lecter: You see, the brain itself feels no pain if that concerns you, Clarice.


Hannibal Lecter: I came halfway around the world to watch you run, Clarice. Let me run, eh?


Hannibal Lecter: Now you’re being rude, and I hate rude people.


Hannibal Lecter: I imagine your little brother must smell almost as bad as you do by now.


Hannibal Lecter: Do you know what a roller pigeon is, Barney? They climb high and fast, then roll over and fall just as fast toward the earth. There are shallow rollers and deep rollers. You can’t breed two deep rollers, or their young will roll all the way down, hit, and die. Officer Starling is a deep roller, Barney. We should hope one of her parents was not.


Hannibal Lecter: Your job is to craft my doom, so I am not sure how well I should wish you. But I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun.


Hannibal Lecter Red Dragon Quotes (2002)

Hannibal Lecter: And be grateful. Our scars have the power to remind us that the past was real.


Hannibal Lecter: Remarkable boy. I do admire your courage. I think I’ll eat your heart.


Will Graham: I might not have time.

Hannibal Lecter: I do. I have oodles.


Dinner Guest: Hannibal, confess. What is this divine-looking amuse bouche?

Hannibal Lecter: If I tell you, I’m afraid you won’t even try it.


Hannibal Lecter: Shh. Don’t move. You’re in shock now. I don’t want you to feel any pain. In a moment, you’ll begin to feel light-headed, then drowsy. Don’t resist, it’s so gentle, like slipping into a warm bath. I regret it came to this, Will, but every game must have its ending.


Hannibal Lecter: Tell me, Will. Did you enjoy it? Your first murder? Of course you did. And why shouldn’t it feel good? It does to God. Why only last week in Texas, he dropped a church roof on the heads of 34 of his worshippers, just as they were grovelling for him. He wouldn’t begrudge you for one Journalist.


Hannibal Lecter: You will not persuade me with appeals to my intellectual vanity.


Hannibal Lecter: A robin red-breast in a cage, puts all of Heaven in a rage. Think to yourself that every day is your last. The hour to which you do not look forward will come as a welcome surprise. As for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me in fine state… fat and sleek, a true hog of Epicurus’s herd.


Hannibal Lecter: Do you like my little exercise cage, Will? My so-called lawyer is always nagging Dr. Chilton for better accommodations. I don’t know which is the greater fool.


Will Graham: I thought you might enjoy the challenge. Find out if you’re smarter than the person I’m looking for.

Hannibal Lecter: Then, by implication, you think you’re smarter than I am, since it was you who caught me.


Hannibal Lecter: We live in a primitive time, don’t we, Will? Neither savage nor wise. Half measures are the curse of it, any rational society will either kill me or put me to some use.


Hannibal Lecter: I’ve come to collect a head.


Hannibal Lecter: Ah yes, Dr. Chilton. Gruesome, isn’t he? Fumbles at your head like a freshman pulling at a panty girdle.


Hannibal Lecter: Without our imaginations, we’d be like all those other poor dullards. Fear is the price of our instrument. But I can help you bear it.


Hannibal Lecter Hannibal Rising Quotes (2007)

Hannibal Lecter: I hope you don’t mind. I would have used a butcher knife, but the sword seemed so appropriate. Not a nick in the blade, I promise you. The butcher was like butter.


Petras Kolnas: What did I ever do to you?

Hannibal Lecter: Aside from eating my sister? Nothing.


Hannibal Lecter: I thought you would be bigger. I put your face on every bully I’ve ever hurt.


Hannibal Lecter: “The very scent of her takes away the smell of the camp.” Do you compose verse, Inspector, and keep it under your pillow?


Hannibal Lecter: Good evening, Herr Kolnas. You drink better wine that you serve.


Hannibal Lecter: Rudeness is an epidemic.


Hannibal Lecter: Now tell me inspector, you lost family in the war?

Inspector Popil: Yes.

Hannibal Lecter: Did you catch who did it?

Inspector Popi: No.

Hannibal Lecter: Then we are both suspects. I could say you were fishing with me if you like.


Hannibal Lecter: I love you.

Lady Murasaki: What is left in you to love?


Hannibal Lecter Hannibal Quotes (TV Series 2013-2015)

Hannibal Lecter: Psychopaths are not crazy. They are fully aware of what they do and the consequences of those actions.

Season 1, episode 8, Fromage


Hannibal Lecter: It’s the inevitability of there being a man so bad that killing him felt good.

Season 1, episode 2, Amuse-Bouche


Hannibal Lecter: You catch these killers by getting into their heads, but you also allow them into your own.

Season 1, episode 13, Savoureux


Hannibal Lecter: Madness can be a medicine for the modern world. You take it in moderation, it’s beneficial.

Season 1, episode 11, Rôti


Hannibal Lecter: Killing must feel good to God, too… He does it all the time, and are we not created in His image?

Season 1, episode 2, Amuse-Bouche


Hannibal Lecter: Human emotions are a gift from our animal ancestors. Cruelty is a gift humanity has given itself.

Season 1, episode 5, Coquilles


Hannibal Lecter: The feast is life. You put the life in your belly and you live.

Season 1, episode 7, Sorbet


Hannibal Lecter: The mirrors in your mind can reflect the best of yourself, not the worst of someone else.

Season 1, episode 2, Amuse-Bouche


Hannibal Lecter: Not only is justice blind, it’s mindless and heartless.

Season 2, episode 3, Hassun


Hannibal Lecter: Must I denounce myself as a monster while you still refuse to see the one growing inside you?

Season 2, episode 9, Shiizakana


Hannibal Lecter: A life without regret would be no life at all.

Season 2, episode 9, Shiizakana


Hannibal Lecter: No beast is more savage than man when possessed with power answerable to his own rage.

Season 2, episode 9, Shiizakana


Hannibal Lecter: Perception is a tool that’s pointed on both ends.

Season 1, episode 1, Apéritif


Hannibal Lecter: One can appreciate another’s words without dissecting them. Though, on occasion, dissection is the only thing that will do.

Season 3, episode 1, Antipasto


Hannibal Lecter: The Devil has been a yoke on the neck of humanity since we first began to think and dream.

Season 3, episode 1, Antipasto


Hannibal Lecter: It’s only cannibalism if we’re equals.

Season 3, episode 1, Antipasto


Hannibal Lecter: Morality doesn’t exist. Only morale.

Season 3, episode 1, Antipasto


Hannibal Lecter: Better to live true to yourself for an instant than never know it.

Season 3, episode 5, Contorno


Hannibal Lecter: It’s dangerous to get exactly what you want.

Season 3, episode 7, Digestivo


Hannibal Lecter: Even if you know the state of who you are today, you can’t predict who you’ll be tomorrow. You’re defined up to now, not beyond.

Season 3, episode 9, …And the Woman Clothed with the Sun


Hannibal Lecter: We don’t get wiser as we get older, but we do learn to avoid or raise a certain amount of hell, depending on which we prefer.

Season 3, episode 9, …And the Woman Clothed with the Sun


Hannibal Lecter: All gods demand sacrifices.

Season 3, episode 12, he Number of the Beast Is 666


Hannibal Lecter: Fate has a habit of not letting us choose our own endings.

Season 3, episode 12, he Number of the Beast Is 666


Hannibal Lecter: When it comes to nature versus nurture, I choose neither. We are built from a DNA blueprint and born into a world of scenario and circumstance we don’t control.

Season 2, episode 2, Sakizuke


Hannibal Lecter: Without remembering, you’re seized by something imagined.

Season 2, episode 2, Sakizuke


Hannibal Lecter: The tragedy is not to die, Abel, but to be wasted.

Season 2, episode 6, Futamono


Hannibal Lecter: An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.

Season 2, episode 8, Su-zakana


Hannibal Lecter: Memory gives moments immortality, but forgetfulness promotes a healthy mind. It’s good to forget.

Season 2, episode 9, Shiizakana


Hannibal Lecter: Therapy only works when we have a genuine desire to know ourselves as we are, not as we would like to be.

Season 2, episode 9, Shiizakana


Hannibal Lecter: In love, you take leave of your senses, but in hatred, you must be present to calculate your actions.

Season 2, episode 10, Naka-Choko


Hannibal Lecter: When a fox hears a rabbit scream, he comes running. But not to help.

Season 2, episode 13, Mizumono


Hannibal Lecter: What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others, that’s beyond us.

Season 2, episode 13, Mizumono


Hannibal Lecter: In the walls of our hearts and brains, danger waits. There are holes in the floor of the mind.

Season 2, episode 13, Mizumono


Hannibal Lecter: Cracks are not always weaknesses. A life lived accrues in the cracks.

Season 2, episode 2, Sakizuke


Hannibal Lecter: I’ve always found the idea of death comforting. The thought that my life could end at any moment frees me to fully appreciate the beauty, and art, and horror of everything this world has to offer.

Season 2, episode 4, Takiawase


Hannibal Lecter: No greater love hath man than to lay down his life for a friend.

Season 3, episode 13, he Wrath of the Lamb


Interesting Facts about Hannibal Lecter

Now it’s time for some interesting facts about Hannibal Lecter, to make the quotes even more remarkable…

  1. Hannibal Lecter is Actually of Eastern European Descent – You may not notice this from watching the movies, but according to the novels, Hannibal Lecter was born in Lithuania in 1933 to an aristocratic family, which makes him of an Eastern European descent. At a very young age, Lecter became an orphan and was later adopted by his step-aunt. He is very well-mannered and have graces of the upper class.
  2. He Has Another Middle Finger – Hannibal Lecter was described as suffering from the polydactyly condition (having another digit on the hand), and in his case, it is shown by having another middle finger on his hand. In the movie Hannibal, he decides to amputate it, so he won’t be so obvious to law enforcement and authorities.
  3. Lecter Has Maroon Eyes – This is another fact that is not brought to the audience in the movies, but is being described in the novels. According to the books, when agent Starling first encounters Dr. Lecter, she is amazed by the color of this eyes. Lecter’s eyes are described as maroon and reflecting the light of his cell (or cage) in pinpoints of red.
  4. His Face Undergoes Plastic Surgery – After the events in Silence of the Lambs, Lecter escapes to Europe and is being hunted by both the FBI and Mason Verger, a former patient of Lecter who suffered and was harshly brutalized by Lecter, leaving him on a respirator. So, Lecter performs plastic surgery on his face… by himself! He adopts the alias name of Dr. Fell and lives in Florence, Italy, in the beginning of the Hannibal books.
  5. Lecter Was Small and Had Serrated Teeth – According to the nooks, Lecter was small-built and had serrated teeth. Not much to go on from here really, but still an interesting fact to know.
  6. The Memory Palace – This is something now shown in the movies, yet very interesting, known as Lecter’s memory palace. Lecter it seems has an eidetic memory. This allows him to see something even once, and then remember it precisely for a very long time, as if he is right there.
  7. Drugging and Hypnotizing Agent Starling – In the Hannibal book, Lecter kidnaps agent Starling to a remote lake house, where he gives her a cocktail filled with hallucinogenic drugs. During that time, he also tries to hypnotize her to believe that she is actually his deceased sister.
  8. Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling End Up Being Together – In the last book of the trilogy, the author implies that after agent Starling was betrayed by the FBI, it left her broken and weak. This gave Lecter the opportunity to manipulate her so in the end she will be with him and part of his life. Eventually, the two become lovers and escape together to Buenos Aires, Argentina. At this point, Starling is described having platinum hair, wearing short and stylish clothes, and both she and Lecter live a happy life.
  9. There Was a “Real” Hannibal Lecter – In 2013, author Thomas Harris revealed that the inspiration for the character of Hannibal Lecter came from real life and actual events. In 1963, Harris was then a journalist who got an assignment to interview Dykes Askew Simmons, who was a prisoner and a mental patient who murdered three people. While Harris was in the Nuevo Leon State Prison in Monterrey in Mexico, he met with who he believed was Dr. Salazar, the prison doctor, who saved the life of Simmons who has been shot trying to escape a year before. Turns out, this Dr. Salazar was in fact an inmate in the prison and no doctor. This inmate was convicted of murdering his former lover by slitting his throat, dismembering his body and then burying it in the garden. As cruel as he was, he seems very elegant to Harris and from that point on, Harris began to imagine a fictional character, a doctor who was also a serial killer. That’s when Hannibal Lecter’s character came to life, or to fiction.

For more exciting and intriguing movie quotes, please visits our posts dedicated to Beetlejuice quotes and Top Gun quotes.

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