Desperate Living

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Desperate Living is a 1977 film about a mentally ill housewife and her maid who flee to a city full of hiding criminals after accidentally killing a character's husband.

Written and directed by John Waters.
It isn't very pretty...

Peggy Gravel

  • [the phone rings] Hello? What number are you calling? You've dialed the wrong number! SORRY? What good is that? How can you ever repay the 30 seconds you have STOLEN FROM MY LIFE! I hate you, your husband, your children and your relatives!
  • [the children are playing doctor in the nude] Sodomites! Caught right in a sex orgy! You dirty filthy...! Is that what you learned in private school?! Nude, nude, nude! You could be pregnant, Beth! And as for you, I never thought you would rape your own SISTER! Oh God, the children are having SEX!
  • Am I living in hell?! Is that it?! Have I gone straight to hell?!
  • You know I hate nature! Look at those disgusting trees, stealing my oxygen!
  • You're just like the rest of the common dykes in this town!

Grizelda Brown

  • Good God almighty.
  • [comes into the room wielding a broom] Back off, asshole!
  • [while sitting on Mr. Gravel's face] Down, down, down, down, down, down, down! Down, down, down, down, down!
  • [to Peggy] I am sick of listenin' to your bitchin'. The next time you feel a fit comin' on, go outside and bitch. Bitch at the air. Bitch at the trees. But don't bitch at us!
  • ''to Mr. Gravel'' I don't want no white man lookin' at my Tampax!
  • ''to Peggy'' I ain't your maid anymore, bitch! I'm your sister in crime!

Queen Carlotta

  • Take them to our ugly expert, and give them a complete overhaul!
  • [while having sex with one of her guards] Oh, that love muscle! Whip it out and show it hard! Oh come on daddy, fuck me! Oh grow little inchworm!
  • That little MF!
  • Hey morons, you got your clothes on backwards!
  • I hope you didn't leave no pecker tracks on my gown!
  • Seize her and fuck her!


  • Come on, bitch! Eat some dog food! Eat it! Eat it, you bitch! Put my baby in the refrigerator!
  • I'm so hungry I could eat cancer!
  • [talking to her breasts] Hi big boys! I bet you didn't know Mommy won the Maryland lottery, yes! I'm going to be buying you lots of new push-up bras, so get ready for your new home! Things are going to be looking up for you two!
  • Good old germ-carrying American currency!


  • Now I won't have any organs! It'll be like having a Barbie doll crotch!
  • I'm going to BLOW YOUR BOWELS OUT!


  • Officer: You like lingerie?! How do you like these little numbers? I sent away to 'em from Fredrick's. They was expensive. I love the feel of cold nylon on my big butt!
  • Princess Coo-coo: Herbert doesn't care if I have ears, he only cares about my mind!
  • Flipper: You lazy bitch! I'm out working my tail off all day and you're in there fucking midgets!


[a baseball breaks the bedroom window, where outside children are playing the sport]
Peggy: I knew they'd try it! Try to kill me in my own home! It's like war! Don't tell me I don't know what Vietnam is like! [opens the window] Brats! Brats! Brats!
Child: Oh, I'm sorry Mrs. Gravel. I'll pay for the window out of my allowance.
Peggy: How about my LIFE? Do you get enough allowance to pay for that?! I know you were trying to kill me! What's the matter with the courts? Do they allow this lawlesness and malicious destruction of property to run rampant? I HATE THE SUPREME COURT! [moves away from the window in a rage and throws a vase, breaking it, then moves back to the window] Go home to your mother! Doesn't she ever watch you? Tell her this isn't some communist day-care center! Tell your mother I hate her! Tell your mother I HATE YOU!

Grizelda: We killed your husband, and I ain't your maid any more, bitch! I'm your sister in crime!
Peggy: Please, don't sit on me!

Peggy: We were raped! Please, give us shelter!
Mole: You were raped?!

Muffy: Sometimes I need a man.
Mole: I'm a man, Muffy! A man trapped in a woman's body!

Princess Coo-Coo: Herbert!
Herbert: Coo-Coo, Coo-coo! Oh, Coo, I worship the ground you walk on. I couldn't keep my mind on my work all morning. Every piece of trash I had to pick up reminded me of you! An old candy wrapper made me think of how sweet you are. A snotty Kleenex made me realize how much I'd cry if we ever had to part. An old rubber made me think of all the nights of eros we have before us. I love you, Coo-coo.
Princess Coo-coo: Oh Herbert, I masturbated 14 times last night just thinking of you, and when I finally did fall asleep, my dreams were not exactly dry. Take me now, Herbert! Take me in front of the whole town!

Peggy: You obviously belong in a mental hospital!
Grizelda: Look who's calling the kettle black! She's just upset, now be easy on her!
Peggy: I will not! I don't want some renegade necrophile princess as my roommate!

Muffy's Friend: Holy shit Mole, what happened to you?!
Mole: Oh, Muffy just gave me an abortion.


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