Trainspotting (film)

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For quotations from the novel, see Irvine Welsh.

Trainspotting is a 1996 film about a young man deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene who tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

Directed by Danny Boyle. Written by John Hodge, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh.
Never let your friends tie you to the tracks.(taglines)


  • [opening narration] Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?
  • People think it's all about misery and desperation and death and all that shite, which is not to be ignored. But what they forget is the pleasure of it. Otherwise we wouldn't do it. After all, we're not fucking stupid. At least, we're not that fucking stupid. Take the best orgasm you ever had, multiply it by a thousand and you're still nowhere near it. When you're on junk you have only one worry: scoring. When you're off it you are suddenly obliged to worry about all sorts of other shite. Got no money: can't get pissed. Got money: drinking too much. Can't get a bird: no chance of a ride. Got a bird: too much hassle. You have to worry about bills, about food, about some football team that never fucking wins, about human relationships and all the things that really don't matter when you've got a sincere and truthful junk habit.
  • [explaining the gaps in his employment history - from a deleted scene included on some home media releases] Yes, I can. The truth—well, the truth is that I've had a long-standing problem with heroin addiction. I've been known to sniff it, smoke it, swallow it, stick it up my arse and inject it into my veins. I've been trying to combat this addiction, but unless you count social security scams and shoplifting, I haven't had a regular job in years.
  • I don't feel the sickness yet, but it's in the post. That's for sure. I'm in the junkie limbo at the moment. Too ill to sleep. Too tired to stay awake, but the sickness is on its way. Sweat, chills, nausea. Pain and craving. A need like nothing else I've ever known will soon take hold of me. It's on its way.
  • The downside of coming off junk was I knew I would need to mix with my friends again in a state of full consciousness. It was awful. They reminded me so much of myself, I could hardly bear to look at them. Take Sick Boy, for instance. He came off junk at the same time as me — not because he wanted to, you understand, but just to annoy me. Just to show me how easily he could do it, thereby downgrading my own struggle. Sneaky fucker, don't you think?
  • [Closing narration] Now I've justified this to myself in all sorts of ways. It wasn't a big deal, just a minor betrayal. Or we'd outgrown each other, you know, that sort of thing. But let's face it, I ripped them off - my so called mates. But Begbie, I couldn't give a shite about him. And Sick Boy, well, he'd have done the same to me, if he'd only thought of it first. And Spud, well okay, I felt sorry for Spud - he never hurt anybody. So why did I do it? I could offer a million answers - all false. The truth is that I'm a bad person. But, that's gonna change - I'm going to change. This is the last of that sort of thing. Now I'm cleaning up and I'm moving on, going straight and choosing life. I'm looking forward to it already. I'm gonna be just like you. The job, the family, the fucking big television. The washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electric tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisure wear, luggage, three piece suite, DIY, game shows, junk food, children, walks in the park, nine to five, good at golf, washing the car, choice of sweaters, family Christmas, indexed pension, tax exemption, clearing gutters, getting by, looking ahead, the day you die.
  • One thousand years from now, there won't be any guys and there won't be any girls, just wankers. Sounds all right to me.
  • It looks easy this, but it's not. Looks like a doss, like a soft option. But living like this, it's a full-time business.
  • Our only response was to keep on going and fuck everything. Pile misery upon misery, heap it up on a spoon and dissolve it with a drop of bile. Then squirt it into a stinking, purulent vein, and do it all over again. Keep on going, getting up, going out, robbing, stealing, fucking people over. Propelling ourselves with longing towards the day that it would all go wrong. Because no matter how much you stash or how much you steal, you'll never have enough. No matter how often you go out and rob and fuck people over, you always need to get up and do it all over again.
  • Since I was on remand, they've had me on this programme. The state-sponsored addiction. Three sickly sweet doses of methadone a day instead of smack. But it's never enough. And at the moment, it's nowhere near enough. I took all three this morning, and now I've got 18 hours to go till my next shot, and the sweat on my back is like a layer of frost. I need to visit the mother-superior for one hit. One fucking hit to get us over this long, hard day.
  • This seems however I really am the luckiest guy in the world. Several years of addiction, right in the middle of an epidemic, surrounded by the living dead. But not me. I am negative. It's official. And once the pain goes away, that's when the real battle starts. Depression. Boredom. You feel so fucking low, you'll want to fucking top yourself.


  • No way I would poison my body with that shite. All the fucking chemicals. No fucking way!
  • Hey Rent boy, no fucking skag!
  • It was fucking obvious that that cunt wis gonna fuck some cunt.
  • You better clean up your fucking act sunshine. cut that shite out forever.
  • See, inside you won't last two fucking days.
  • Well, it's not our fault! Your boy went down because he was a fucking smack-head, and if that's not your fault than I don't know what is! I was the fucking cunt trying to get hum off it.
  • Picture the scene. The other fucking week there, down the fucking Volley with Tommy, playing pool. I'm playing like Paul fucking Newman by the way. Giving the boy here the tanning of a lifetime. So it comes to the end, to the last shot, the deciding ball of the whole tournament. I'm on the black and he's sitting in the corner looking all fucking biscuit-arsed. When this hard cunt comes in. Obviously fucking fancied himself, like. Starts staring at me. Looking at me, like right fucking at me,as if to say, "Come ahead, square go". You ken me. I'm not the type of cunt that goes looking for fucking bother, like, but at the end of the day I'm the cunt with a pool cue and he can get the fat end in his puss any time he fucking wanted like. So I squares up, casual like. What does the hard cunt do? Or the so-called hard cunt? Shites it. Puts down his drink, turns, and gets the fuck out of there. And after that, well, the game was mine.


"[Narrating] From time to time even I have uttered the magic words"
Renton: Never again, Swanney. I'm off the skag.
Swanney: Are you serious?
Renton: Yeah, no more. I'm finished with that shite.
Swanney: Well, it's up to you, man.
Renton: Gonna get it right this time. Gonna get it sorted out. Gonna get off it for good.
Swanney: I've heard that one before.
Renton: The Sick Boy method.
Swanney: [sarcastically] Well, it nearly worked for him, hey.
Renton: Well, he's always been lacking in moral fibre.
Swanney: He knows a lot about Sean Connery.
Renton: That's hardly a substitute.
Swanney: Do you need one more hit?
Renton: No, I don't think so.
Swanney: For the long night that lies ahead?
[Renton thinks, then leaves Swanney's apartment. Swanney returns to smoking and his toast.]
Renton: [narrating] We called him "Mother Superior" on account of the length of his habit. Of course I'd have another shot. After all, I had work to do.

[Renton goes to Mikey Forrester to buy a final shot of heroin; Forrester hands him suppositories]
Renton: [narrating] This was typical of Mikey Forrester. In the normal run of things, I would have nothing to do with the cunt. But this was not the normal run of things.
Renton: What the fuck are these?!
Mikey Forrester: Opium suppositories. Ideal for your purposes. Slow release. Bring you down gradually. Custom fucking designed for your needs.
Renton: I want a fucking hit!
Mikey Forrester: That's all I've got, matey. Take it or leave it.
[Renton considers this and eventually takes the opium suppositories and inserts them]
Mikey Forrester: Aye, you feel better the now right?
Renton: Oh, yeah, for all the good they've done me, I might as well have stuck them up my arse!

Tommy: Doesn't it make you proud to be Scottish?
Renton: It's SHITE being Scottish! We're the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilisation. Some people hate the English. I don't. They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonised by wankers. Can't even find a decent culture to be colonised by. We're ruled by effete arseholes. It's a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and all the fresh air in the world won't make any fucking difference!

[Mark and Spud are both drinking out of the same milkshake]

Renton: Good luck, Spud.
Spud: Cheers, cowboy.
Renton: Now remember, if they think you're not trying, you're in trouble, right? First hint of that, and they'll be onto the D.H.S.S., "This cunt is not trying." And your giro's fuckin' finished, right?
Spud: Right.
Renton: But, then again, try too hard--
Spud: You might get the fuckin' job. [Chuckles]
Renton: Exactly.
Spud: Nightmare.
Renton: It's a tightrope, Spud. It's a fuckin' tightrope.
Spud: See, I just get pure shy with the interviewer cats. I get all nervous. I can't answer any of their questions, like I'm a footballer... and I get nerveson the big occasion, man.
Renton: Try some of this, Spud. [Produces a folded up paper of a stimulant powder]
Spud: Yeah, a little dab of speed is just the ticket, mate.

[Spud is in a chair sitting unusually far away from a table of 3 interviewers, talking hyper energetic and fast paced]

Spud: No, I went to Craignewton. I just put down Royal Edinburgh College to help get the job. There's too much discrimination in this town, they're both schools, right? We're all in this together. And I wanted to put across the general idea, rather than the details. Like people get all hung up on details. Like which school did I go to? How many grades did I get? Could be like six. Could be none. It's not important. What is important is that I am, yes?
Interviewer: Mr. Murphy, do you mean that you lied on your application?
Spud: No, well, yes. Only to get my foot in the door. Showing initiative and that like.
Interviewer: But you were referred here by the Department of Employment. There was no need for you to get your "foot in the door," as you put it.
Spud: Yeah, cool. Whatever you say. Sorry. You're the man, the dude in the chair. I am merely here-- Like, well, obviously, I'm here like, but--
Interviewer: Mr. Murphy, what exactly attracts you to the leisure industry?
Spud: In a word... [Glances at wall then back at them] pleasure. Like, my pleasure in other people's leisure.
Interviewer: Do you see yourself as having any weaknesses?
Spud: Oh, yes, 'cause, like, I'm a bit of a perfectionist, actually! Yes, I am. See, for me, it's got to be the best, or it's nothing at all. Like things get a bit dodgy, I just cannot be bothered. But, hey, I'm getting good vibes about this interview thing today, though, man. Seems to me like it's going pretty well, eh?
Interviewer: Thank you, Mr. Murphy.
Second Interviewer: We'll let you know.

[Spud runs up to interviewers]

Spud: The pleasure was mine, man.

[Renton Narrating]

Renton: Spud had done well. I was proud of him.

[Spud shakes hands with the interviewers in a overly confident and playful way]

Spud: Thanks. Ooh, sorry.
Renton: He fucked up good and proper. You had to hand it to Spud.

[Renton watches Diane downs her pint in one sip and steals a man's pint and downs it as well in The Volcano nightclub and then follows her outside]

Renton: Excuse me, excuse me. I don't mean to harass you, but I was very impressed with the capable and stylish manner in which you dealt with that situation. I was thinking to myself, now this girl's special.
Diane: Thanks.
Renton: What's your name?
Diane: Diane.
Renton: Where are you going, Diane?
Diane: I'm going home.
Renton: Where's that?
Diane: It's where I live.
Renton: Great.
Diane: What?
Renton: I'll come back with you if you like, but I'm not promising anything.
Diane: Do you find that this approach usually works? Or, let me guess, you've never tried it before.In fact, you don't normally approach girls. Am I right? The truth is that you're a quiet, sensitive type...but, if I'm prepared, to take a chance...I might just get to know the inner you: witty, adventurous, passionate, loving, loyal -Taxi! -A little bit crazy, a little bit bad. But, hey, don't us girls just love that?
Renton: Eh?
Diane: Well... what's wrong, boy? Cat got your tongue? [enters taxicab]
Renton: [confused] I left something...
Taxi Driver: You getting in or not, pal?
[Renton gets into taxicab]

Sick Boy: It's certainly a phenomenon in all walks of life.
Renton: What do you mean?
Sick Boy: Well, at one time, you've got it, and then you lose it, and it's gone forever. All walks of life: George Best, for example. Had it, lost it. Or David Bowie, or Lou Reed.
Renton: Lou Reed, some of his solo stuff's not bad.
Sick Boy: No, it's not bad. But it's not great either, is it? And in your heart you kind of know that although it sounds all right, it's actually just...shite.
Renton: So who else?
Sick Boy: Charlie Nicholas, David Niven, Malcolm McLaren, Elvis Presley...
Renton: OK, OK, so what's the point you're trying to make?
Sick Boy: All I'm trying to do, Mark, is help you understand that The Name of the Rose is merely a blip on an otherwise uninterrupted downward trajectory.
Renton: What about The Untouchables?
Sick Boy: I don't rate that at all.
Renton: Despite the Academy Award?
Sick Boy: That means fuck all. It's a sympathy vote.
Renton: Right. So we all get old and then we can't hack it anymore. Is that it?
Sick Boy: Yeah.
Renton: That's your theory?
Sick Boy: Yeah. Beautifully fucking illustrated.
Renton: Give me the gun. Give me the gun.
Sick Boy: [affects a Sean Connery accent] Do you see the beast? Have you got it in your sights?
Renton: [aiming the pellet gun at a dog] Clear enough, Miss Moneypenny! This should present no significant problems! [shoots the dog, which starts attacking its owner]
Sick Boy: For a vegetarian, Rents, you're a fuckin' evil shot!

Renton: What's on the menu this evening, sir?
Swanney: Your favourite dish.
Renton: Excellent.
Swanney: Your usual table, sir.
Renton: Oh, why thank you.
Swanney: Would sir care to pay for his bill in advance?
Renton: No. Stick it on my tab.
Swanney: Ah, regret to inform, sir, credit limit was reached and breached quite some time ago.
Renton: Oh, well in that case... [hands him some cash]
Swanney: Oh, hard currency, why, sir, that'll do nicely. Can't be too careful when we're dealing with your type, can we? Would sir care for a starter? Some garlic bread perhaps?
Renton: No, thank you. I'll proceed directly to the intravenous injection of hard drugs, please.
Swanney: As you wish sir, as you wish.

[Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud are trying to sell a large quantity of heroin to a big-time dealer]
Dealer: So, how much would you like for this?
Begbie: 20,000.
Dealer: Well, I don't think it's worth more than 15.
Renton: [narration] This was a real drag to him. He didn't need to negotiate. I mean, what the fuck were we going to do if he didn't buy it? Sell it on the streets? Fuck that.
Begbie: Well... 19.
Dealer: Terribly sorry, I can't go to 19.
Begbie: [flustered] Well, fuckin' 16, then.
Dealer: [chuckles] Okay. "Well fuckin' 16" it is, then.

Mrs. Renton: We'll help you son. You'll stay here with us, till you get better. We're gonna beat this together.
Renton: Maybe I, Maybe I should go back to the clinic?
Mrs. Renton: No. No clinics, no methadone. That only made you worse, you said so yourself. You lied to us son. Your own mother and father!
Renton: You could bring us some jellies.
Mrs. Renton: No! You're worse coming off that than the heroin. Nothing at all!
Mr. Renton: It's a clean break this time.
Mrs. Renton: You're staying here, where we can keep an eye on you.
Renton: I appreciate what you're trying to do. I really do, but I just need one more score like. Just bring me one more hit. I need one more fucking hit! You fuck!
Begbie: Well, that's a good fucking laugh, ain't it? You sweat that shite out of your system, cause I'll come back and it's still here, I'll fucking kick it out. Okay?

Diane: (narrating, while Renton is reading a letter from her) Dear Mark, I'm glad you've found a job and somewhere to live. School is fine at the moment. I'm not pregnant, but thanks for asking. Your friend Sick-Boy asked me last week if I would like to work for him, but I told him where to go. I met Spud who sends his regards, or at least I think that's what he said. No one seen Tommy for ages, and finally, Francis Begbie has been on television a lot this week, as he is wanted by the police, in connection with an armed robbery in a jewellers in Corstorphine. Take care, Yours with love. Diane.
(Door bell rings... Renton looks at the letter again...)
Diane: Francis Begbie.
(Door bell rings again...)
Renton: (realises it's Begbie) Oh no!
Begbie: Armed robbery? What? With a replica? I mean how can it be an armed robbery with a fucking replica? Fucking scandal. And the gear? look! Supposed to be fucking solid silver, it's fucking garbage. There's Young couples investing their hopes in that stuff and all.
Renton: It's a scandal Franco.
Begbie: Too fucking right that is!
Begbie: And I don't want any pot noodles by the way. I'm fucking lee marvin (i.e. starving).

Begbie: Did you bring the cards?
Sick Boy: What?
Begbie : The cards, the last thing I told you was to mind the cards!
Sick Boy: Well, I've not brought them.
Begbie: It's fucking boring after a while without the cards.
Sick Boy: I'm sorry.
Begbie: Bit fucking late, like.
Sick Boy: Why didn't you bring them?
Begbie: 'cause I fucking told you to bring them, you doss cunt!
Sick Boy: Christ...

Renton: Getting out much Tommy?
Tommy: No.
Renton: Following the game at all?
Tommy: No.
Renton: Nah, me neither really.
(Renton sits on the chair...)
Tommy: Did you take the test?
Renton: Aye.
Tommy: Clear?
Renton: Aye.
Tommy: That's nice.
Renton: I'm sorry Tommy.
Tommy: Got any gear on you?
Renton: No, I'm clean man.
Tommy: Well, sub us then mate. I'm expecting a rent check.
(Renton gives Tommy some cash notes... Tommy smiles, and so does Renton...)
Tommy: Thanks Mark.
Renton: No bother. No Bother. None at all. Not for me anyway. Still, it's easy to be philosophical when other poor cunt with shite for blood.

[Diane knocks on door]
[Renton opens the door]
Renton: What do you want?
Diane: Are you clean?
Renton: Yes!
Diane: Is that a promise then?
Renton: Yes it is as a matter of fact!
Diane: Calm down, I'm only asking. Is that hash I can smell?
Renton: No.
Diane: I wouldn't mind a bit if it is.
Renton: Well, it isn't.
Diane: Smells like it.
Renton: You're too young.
Diane: I'm too young for what?
[Diane enters the apartment]
Diane: You're not getting any younger Mark. The world is changing. Music's changing, even drugs are changing. You can't stay here all day dreaming about heroin and Ziggy Pop.
Renton: It's Iggy Pop.
Diane: Whatever. I mean the guy is dead anyway.
Renton: Iggy Pop is not dead. He toured last year, Tommy went to see him.
Diane: The point is, you've got to find something new.
[Narrating] "She was right, I had to find something new, there was only one thing for it."


  • Never let your friends tie you to the tracks.
  • Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a starter home. Choose dental insurance, leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that?


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