Jump to content

Love means never having to say you're sorry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Love means never having to say you're sorry"
ActorAli MacGraw
First used inLove Story
Voted #13 in AFI's 100 Movie Quotes poll

"Love means never having to say you're sorry" is a catchphrase based on a line from the Erich Segal novel Love Story and was popularized by its 1970 film adaptation starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal. The line is spoken twice in the film: once in the middle of the film, by Jennifer Cavalleri (MacGraw's character), when Oliver Barrett (O'Neal) apologizes to her for his anger; and as the last line of the film, by Oliver, when his father says "I'm sorry" after learning of Jennifer's death. In the script, the line is phrased slightly differently: "Love means not ever having to say you're sorry."

The line proved memorable, and has been repeated in various contexts since. In 2005, it was voted #13 in the American Film Institute's list AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes.[1][2] The band Sounds of Sunshine had a Top 40 hit in the United States with a song titled "Love Means You Never Have to Say You're Sorry" in 1971. "Love means never having to say you're..." is the opening sentence in the popular song "Can't Help but Love You" by The Whispers, from their album named after the movie, issued in 1972.

The line has also been criticized and mocked for suggesting that apologies are unnecessary in a loving relationship. Another character played by O'Neal disparages it in the 1972 screwball comedy What's Up, Doc?: in that film's final scene, Barbra Streisand's character says "Love means never having to say you're sorry," and bats her eyelashes, and O'Neal's character responds in a flat deadpan voice, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard."

MacGraw disagrees with the line, calling it a "crock".[3]

In popular culture[edit]

The line has also been parodied countless times, usually substituting another word or phrase for "love" and/or "you're sorry", especially the latter.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Frankly, My Dear, I Don't Give A Damn Archived 2019-08-20 at the Wayback Machine", AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes, American Film Institute.
  2. ^ "Press release by AFI: 100 greatest movie quotes of all time" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2006-09-17.
  3. ^ "'Love Story' Reunion: Ryan O'Neal, Ali MacGraw Say Movie's Most Famous Line is a 'Crock' (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. 25 June 2014.
  4. ^ McGee, Mark Thomas (1995). Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures. McFarland & Company. p. 282. ISBN 0-7864-0137-0. The melodrama Love Story (1970) was a very popular film at the time and contained the now famous line, 'Love means never having to say you're sorry.' Jim Nicholson parodied that line on the ads and trailers for Phibes: 'Love means never having to say you're ugly.'
  5. ^ Lampley, Jonathan Malcolm (2010). Women in the Horror Films of Vincent Price. McFarland & Company. p. 150. ISBN 978-0786436781.
  6. ^ Bitner, Brian (September 20, 2016). "Face-Off: Dark Shadows vs. Crimson Peak". JoBlo.com. Retrieved May 16, 2024.
  7. ^ Agard, Chancellor (April 13, 2016). "iZombie Season Finale Recap: Outbreak". Vulture. Retrieved May 16, 2024.

External links[edit]