Brighton Beach Memoirs

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Brighton Beach Memoirs is a semi-autobiographical play written by Neil Simon. It premiered on Broadway in 1983.

Eugene Jerome[edit]

  • "Eugene Morris Jerome...It is the second worst name ever given to a male child. The first worst is Haskell Fleischmann..."
  • "If only I was born Italian...All the best Yankees are Italian...My mother makes spaghetti with ketchup, what chance do I have?"
  • "I felt her chest! When she grabbed me, I felt my first chest!"
  • "Attention, ladies and gentlemen! Today's game will be delayed because of my aunt Blanche's headache..."
  • "I love tense moments! Especially when I'm not the one they're all tense about."
  • "If I had a choice between a tryout with the Yankees and actually seeing her [Nora's] bare breasts for two and a half seconds, I would have some serious thinking to do..."
  • (On his father) "He was born at the age of forty-two..."
  • "It started out like a murder mystery in Blenheim castle. No one said a word, but everyone looked suspicious...It was so quiet, you could hear Laurie's soup going down her esophagus."
  • "The tension in the air was so thick, you could cut it with a knife. Which is more than I could say for the liver."
  • "It's amazing how quickly you recover from misery when someone offers you ice cream."
  • "How am I going to become a writer if I don't know how to suffer? Actually, I'd give up writing if I could see a naked girl while I was eating ice cream."
  • "You don't get too far talking to Laurie. Sometimes I think the flutter in her heart is actually in her brain."
  • "A momentous moment in the life of I, Eugene Morris Jerome. I have seen the Golden Palace of the Himalayas.... Puberty is over. Onwards and upwards!"

Kate Jerome[edit]

  • "Your father will give you plenty of stuff when he gets home!"
  • "Stay on your own side of the street. That's what they have gutters for."
  • "From your lips to the Irish sweepstakes..."
  • "I never voted before in my life, why should I start with my own family?"
  • "This is a family. The world doesn't survive without families..."
  • "You know me. I'm not happy unless I can worry. My family were worriers. Worriers generally marry fainters."
  • "Pearls are like people. They like to go out and be seen once in a while."
  • "Do you think you're the only one in this world who has troubles? We all have troubles. We all get our equal share."
  • "How many beatings from Momma did I get from things that you did? How many dresses did I go without so that you could look like someone when you went out? I was the workhorse and you were the pretty one. You have no right to talk to me like that. No right."
  • "To me good friends are strangers. But sisters are sisters."

Blanche Morton[edit]

  • "Dancing is just for a few years. A diploma is forever."
  • "When have the Jews and the Irish ever fought a war?"
  • "But mostly, you live for your children. Your children keep you going."
  • "Sure, it hurts, but if you love someone, you forgive them."
  • "You earn your independence. You don't take it at the expense of others."
  • "Believe me, there is no leg that's twisted or bent that is more crippling than a human being who thrives of his own misfortunes..."
  • "I am tired of apologizing. After a while it becomes your life's work and it doesn't bring any money into the house."
  • "I've already buried someone I love. Now it's time to bury someone I hate."

Laurie Morton[edit]

  • "I'm staring into space. I can't help it if your body interferes."
  • "I had to chop the ice. I'm all out of breath."

Stanley Jerome[edit]

  • "How'd you like an official American League Baeball in your mouth?"
  • "Let me give you a piece of advice: When you're going through puberty, don't start with anyone in your own house."
  • "Her breasts were gorgeous. Like two peaches hanging on the the vine waiting to be plucked...Maybe nectarines. Like two nectarines, all soft and pink and shining in the morning sun..."
  • "Every time I get in trouble, I have to tell you what a naked girl looks like?...Do me a favor, Eugene. Go in the bathroom, whack off, and grow up by yourself."
  • "If you ever write a story about me, call me Hank. I always liked the name dies

Nora Morton[edit]

  • "Sit down, mom, because I don't want you fainting on the floor."
  • "I'm going to be in a Broadway show!"
  • "Then I found his coat in Mom's closet and I put my hand in the pocket. And everything was gone. It was emptied and dry-cleaned and it felt cold...And that's when I knew he was really dead."

Jack Jerome[edit]

  • "At his funeral i'll put on a pointy hat and blow a horn, the bastard!"
  • "If you're Jewish, you've got a cousin suffering somewhere in the world."
  • "What God gives us to deal with, we deal with."
  • "Me? Attractive? You really must think I'm dying, don't you?"


Kate: How many times have I told you not to leave your things around the house?
Eugene: A hundred and nine.
Kate: What?
Eugene: You said yesterday, "I told you a hundred and nine times not to leave your things around the house."

Kate: What would you tell your father if he came home and I was dead on the kitchen floor?
Eugene: I'd say, "Don't go in the kitchen, Pa!"

Laurie: Who were the Cossacks?
Kate: Same filthy bunch as live across the street.
Laurie: You mean the Murphys?
Kate: All of them.
Laurie: The Murphys are Russian?

Laurie: How can you be in a Broadway show? Don't you have to sing and act?
Nora: I can sing.
Laurie: No you can't.
Nora: A little.
Laurie: No, you can't.
Nora: I can carry a tune.
Laurie: No, you can't.

Nora:...Algebra and English isn't going to help me on the stage.
Laurie: Arent?

Kate: And get a quarter pound of butter.
Eugene: I bought a quarter pound of butter this morning. Why don't you buy a half pound at a time?
Kate: And suppose the house burned down this afternoon? Why do I need an extra quarter pound of butter?
Eugene: If my mother taught logic in high school, this would be some weird country.

Eugene: Fired? You mean for good?
Stan: You don't get fired temporarily. It's a lifetime firing.

Eugene: (choking) Ma, I think I have a bone in my throat.
Kate: There are no bones in liver!

Jack: Only a four-year college education is equal to a four-year college education.
Stanley: I don't think Abraham Lincoln went to college.

Kate: You sit there and finish your liver.
Eugene: I can't swallow it. It won't go down. Remember the Lima Bean catastrophe last month? Does anyone want to see a repeat of that disgusting episode?
Jack: Why does he always talk like it's a Sherlock Holmes story?

Kate: Eat half of it.
Eugene: Which half? They're both terrible.
Kate: A quarter of it. Two bites.
Eugene: One bite.
Kate: Two bites.
Eugene: I know you. If I eat one bite, you'll make me eat another bite...I'll take it to my room. I'll eat it tonight. I need time to chew it.

Jack: My father always used to say, "Throw your problems out to sea and the answers will wash back up on shore."
Nora: Did they?
Jack: Not in Brighton Beach. Orange peels and watermelon pits washed up. That's why it's good to take someone who knows how to give advice.

Stanley: It's puberty.
Eugene: It's what?
Stanley: Puberty. You never heard that word before? You don't read books?
Eugene: Yeah, The Citadel by A.J. Cronin. He never mentioned puberty.

Eugene: What's wrong with being in love with your own cousin?
Stanley: Because it's against the laws of nature. If she was your stepsister, it would be dirty, but it would be okay. But you can't love your own cousin.

Stanley: How horny can you get?
Eugene: I don't know. What's the highest score?

Eugene: I'm not playing. I'm writing.
Kate: Well, do it quietly.

Blanche: I was never concerned about your leaving me. It was your future I was worried about.
Nora: It was my future. Why couldn't I have something to say about it?