Illustrated upon the progress of his latest Broadway play, a former popular actor's struggle to cope with his current life as a wasted actor is shown.

Mike Shiner: Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige.
Note on Riggan's dressing room mirror: A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing.
Riggan: Listen to me. I'm trying to do something important.
Sam: This is not important.
Riggan: It's important to me! Alright? Maybe not to you, or your cynical friends whose only ambition is to go viral. But to me... To me... this is - God. This is my career, this is my chance to do some work that actually means something.
Sam: Means something to who? You had a career before the third comic book movie, before people began to forget who was inside the bird costume. You're doing a play based on a book that was written 60 years ago, for a thousand rich old white people whose only real concern is gonna be where they go to have their cake and coffee when it's over. And let's face it, Dad, it's not for the sake of art. It's because you want to feel relevant again. Well, there's a whole world out there where people fight to be relevant every day. And you act like it doesn't even exist! Things are happening in a place that you willfully ignore, a place that has already forgotten you. I mean, who the fuck are you? You hate bloggers. You make fun of Twitter. You don't even have a Facebook page. You're the one who doesn't exist. You're doing this because you're scared to death, like the rest of us, that you don't matter. And you know what? You're right. You don't. It's not important. You're not important. Get used to it.
Sam: Dad...
Riggan: [as Birdman] People, they love blood. They love action. Not this talky, depressing, philosophical bullshit.
Riggan: [as Birdman] Shave off that pathetic goatee. Get some surgery. Sixty's the new thirty, motherfucker!
Jake: Oh my gosh! How do you know Mike Shiner?
Lesley: We share a vagina.
Lesley: Why don't I have any self respect?
Laura: You're an actress, honey.
Tabitha: It doesn't matter, I'm gonna destroy your play.
Riggan: But you didn't even see it. Did I do something to offend you?
Tabitha: As a matter of fact, you did. You took off space on theater wich otherwise might have been used on something worthwile.
Riggan: Okay... well. I mean, you don't even know if it's any good or not... I didn't...
Tabitha: That's true; I haven't read a word of it or even seen the preview. But after the opening tomorrow I'm gonna turn in the worst review anyone has ever read and I'm gonna close your play. Would you like to know why? Because I hate you and everyone you represent. Entitled, selfish, spoiled children. Blissfully untrained, unversed and unprepared to even attempt real art. Handing each other awards for cartoons and pornography. Measuring your worth in weekends? Well this is the theater and you don't get to come in here and pretend you can write, direct and act in your own propaganda piece without coming through me first. So break a leg.
Riggan: Wow. You know... What has to happen in a person's life to become a critic anyway? What are you writing? Another review? Is that any good? Is it? Did you even see it? Let me read it.
Tabitha: I will call the police!
Riggan: Call the police... let's read your fuckin' review. "Lacklustre..." That's just labels. Marginality... You kidding me? Sounds like you need penicillin to clear that up. That's a label. That's all labels. You just label everything. That's so fuckin' lazy... You just... You're a lazy fucker. You know what this is? You even know what that is? You don't, You know why? Because you can't see this thing if you don't have to label it. You mistake all those little noises in your head for true knowledge.
Tabitha: Are you finished?
Riggan: No! I'm not finished! There's nothing here about technique! There's nothing in here about structure! There's nothing in here about intentions! It's just a bunch of crappy opinions, backed up by even crappier comparisons... You write a couple of paragraphs and you know what? None of this cost you fuckin' anything! The Fuck! You risk nothing! Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! I'm a fucking actor! This play cost me everything... So I tell you what, you take this fucked malicious cowardly shitty written review and you shove that right the fuck up your wrinkly tight ass.
Tabitha: You're no actor, you're a celebrity. Let's be clear on that. I'm gonna kill your play.
Sam: Truth or dare?
Mike Shiner: Truth.
Sam: That's boring.
Mike Shiner: Truth is always more interesting.
Riggan: Just find me an actor. A good actor. Give me Woody Harrelson.
Jake: He's doing the next Hunger Games.
Riggan: Michael Fassbender?
Jake: He's doing the prequel to the X-Men prequel.
Riggan: How about Jeremy Renner?
Jake: Who?
Riggan: Jeremy Renner. He was nominated. He was the Hurt Locker guy.
Jake: Oh, okay. He's an Avenger.
Riggan: F - k, they put him in a cape too?
Mike Shiner: Does she speak?
Sam: She does. Yeah, she can sit, stay, and roll over if you have any treats.
Young Birdman: It's a beautiful day. Forget about the Times... everyone else has. Come on. Stand up! So you're not a great actor. Who cares? You're much more than that. You tower over these other theater douchebags. You're a movie star, man! You're a global force! Don't you get it? You spent your life building a bank account and a reputation... and you blew 'em both. Good for you. Fuck it. We'll make a comeback. They're waiting for something huge. Well, give it to them. Shave off that pathetic goatee. Get some surgery! Sixty's the new thirty, motherfucker. You're the original. You paved the way for these other clowns. Give the people what they want... old-fashioned apocalyptic porn. Birdman: The Phoenix Rises. Pimple-faced gamers creaming in their pants. A billion worldwide, guaranteed. You are larger than life, man. You save people from their boring, miserable lives. You make them jump, laugh, shit their pants. All you have to do is...
[Riggan snaps fingers, and explosions occur, shooting starts, soldiers get shot, choppers fly and shoot, one gets shot down]
Young Birdman: That's what I'm talking about. Bones rattling! Big, loud, fast! Look at these people, at their eyes... they're sparkling. They love this shit. They love blood. They love action. Not this talky, depressing, philosophical bullshit.
[Birdman shoots laser in giant mechanical bird above the building, it screeches]
Young Birdman: Yes. And the next time you screech...
[Riggan screeches]
Young Birdman: ... it'll explode into millions of eardrums. You'll glimmer on thousands of screens around the globe. Another blockbuster. You are a god.
[Riggan starts flying]
Young Birdman: See? There you go, you motherfucker. Gravity doesn't even apply to you. Wait till you see the faces of those who thought we were finished. Listen to me. Let's go back one more time and show them what we're capable of. We have to end it on our own terms... with a grand gesture. Flames. Sacrifice. Icarus. You can do it. You hear me? You are... Birdman!
Young Birdman: Sixty is the new thirty, mother fucker.
Mike Shiner: Lesley, play with my balls.
Mike Shiner: Is this water? Did you replace my gin with water, man?
Riggan: Mike. Come on.
Mike Shiner: No. Come on, what?
Riggan: Come on, you're drunk.
Mike Shiner: I'm drunk? Yes, I'm drunk! I'm supposed to be drunk! Why aren't you drunk? This is Carver. He left a piece of his liver on the table every time he wrote a fucking page. If I need to be drinking gin, who the fuck are you to touch my gin, man? Listen, you fucked with the period, you fucked with the plot so you could have the best lines, you leave me the fucking tools that I need! Oh, come on people, don't be so pathetic. Stop looking at the world through your cellphone screens. Have a real experience! Does anybody give a shit about truth other than me? I mean the set is fake, the bananas are fake, there's fucking nothing in this milk carton, your performance is fake. The only thing that is real on this stage is this chicken. So, I'm gonna work with the chicken.
Riggan: I'm nothing. I'm not even here.
[last lines]
Sam: Dad? Dad?
[runs to window, looks out, looks down, looks up, laughs]
Mike Shiner: [showing a fried chicken to Riggan] That's a nice bird, man!
Voice from the street: [Sam is sitting on the parapet of the theatre roof. Someone shouts from below] JUUUMP!
Sam: EAT ME!
Voice from the street: OKAY. JUMP ON MY FACE!
Sam: I love this city.
Sam: Why do you act like a dick all the time? Do you just do it to antagonize people?
Mike Shiner: Maybe.
Sam: You really don't give a shit if people like you or not?
Mike Shiner: Not really.
Sam: That's cool.
Mike Shiner: Is it? I don't know.
Mike Shiner: You've been hanging around here trying to make yourself invisible behind this fragile little fuck-up routine but you can't. You're anything but invisible. You're big. You're kind of a great mess. It's like a candle burning at both ends, but it's beautiful. No amount of booze or weed or attitude is going to hide that.
Mike Shiner: A man becomes a critic when he cannot be an artist, the same way that a man becomes an informer when he cannot be a soldier.
Jake: Get that smile off your face, you're freaking me out.
Riggan: [to Birdman] Bye-bye. And fuck you.
Sam: I want to ask another question.
Mike Shiner: You already did.
Sam: One more.
Mike Shiner: Go ahead.
Sam: If you weren't afraid, what would you want to do to me?
Mike Shiner: I'd pull your eyes out of your head...
Sam: That's sweet.
Mike Shiner: ...and put them in my own skull, and look around, so I could see the street the way I used to when I was your age.
Sylvia: You know, just because I didn't like that ridiculous comedy you did with Goldie Hawn did not mean I did not love you. That's what you always do. You confuse love for admiration.
Riggan: Why did we break up?
Sylvia: Because you threw a kitchen knife at me. And an hour later you were telling me how much you loved me.
Broadway Lady: [sees Riggan on the roof] Hey, is this for real, or are you shooting a film?
Riggan: A film!
Broadway Lady: You people are full of shit!
Riggan: That's you Mike. You're Mr. Natural. Mr. "F - k the scene, just stare at my massive hard-on," right? That's the truth of the moment.
Mike Shiner: Do you think it was massive?
Mike Shiner: [to Riggan] Don't tell me how to do my job. This is my town, and to be honest, most people don't give a shit about you here.
Lady in Bar: Hey, you're Riggan Thompson, right? Would you mind having a picture with us here?
[hands phone to Mike]
Lady in Bar: Would you mind?
Mike Shiner: What?
Lady in Bar: The button's on the bottom.
Sam: What's so funny?
Riggan: [Sam brought him some flowers] I can't smell it.
Riggan: Look, you're beautiful and you're talented. And I'm lucky to have you.
Lesley: He tried to fuck me in front of the entire audience.
Riggan: The last time I flew here from LA, George Clooney was sitting two seats in front of me. With those cuff links, and that... ridiculous chin. We ended up flying through this really bad storm. The plane started to rattle and shake, and everyone on board was crying, and praying. And I just sat there. Sat there thinking that when Sam opened that paper it was going to be Clooney's face on the front page. Not mine. Did you know that Farrah Fawcett died on the same day as Michael Jackson?
Gabriel: Are you at all afraid that people will say you're doing this play to battle the impression that you're a washed up superhero...?
Riggan: No, absolutely not. Absolutely not. That's why 20 years ago I said no to Birdman 4.
Mike Shiner: Give me a cue again.
Riggan: Okay. "Hey, I'm the wrong person to ask. I don't actually know the man, I've heard his name mentioned in passing. I don't know, you'd have to know the particulars. I think what you're saying..."
Mike Shiner: Hey, can I make a suggestion, do you mind?
Riggan: Yeah, yeah sure, no not at all.
Mike Shiner: Okay, just stay with me. "I'm the wrong person to ask," he says, but what is that, what is the intention in that? Is he fed up with the subject so he's changing it, is he deflecting guilt over the marriage? And here's the thing, you've got four lines after that that all say the same thing. "I didn't even know the man, I only heard his name mentioned in passing, I wouldn't know, you'd have to know the particulars..." The point is, you don't know the guy, we f - king get it. Make it work with one line: "I didn't even know the man." Right?
Riggan: Right. Yeah. You know my lines too, huh?
Mike Shiner: Can we not get hung up on knowing lines?
Riggan: She does look like she licked a homeless guy's ass.
Broadway Man on Street: "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
[sees Riggan]
Broadway Man on Street: Where you going man? Is that too much? I was just trying to give you a range. It's a little bit too much, I can tell...
Jake: Ask me if he sells tickets.
Riggan: Does he sell tickets?
Jake: A shitload of tickets! Now ask me if the critics like him?
Riggan: Do they like him?
Jake: They want to spooge on him.
Riggan: [Indicating there's a lady in the room] Hey.
Jake: Lesley...
Lesley: Right on his face.
Lady in Bar: You headed to Hollywood, Mike?
Mike Shiner: No. Hollywood's heading here, Tabby.
Sam: Do you really think you'll be ready for opening tomorrow?
Riggan: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, well, I mean, previews were pretty much a train-wreck. We can't seem to get through without a raging fire or a raging hard-on. I'm broke. I'm not sleeping like, you know, at all. And um, this play is kinda starting to feel like a major deformed version of myself that just keeps following me around, hitting me in the balls with a tiny little hammer. I'm sorry, what was the question?
Sam: Never mind.
Clara: Now, is it true that you've been injecting yourself with semen from baby pigs?
Riggan: I'm sorry, what?
Clara: As a method of facial rejuvenation.
Riggan: Where did you read that?
Clara: It was tweeted by @prostatewhispers.
Riggan: No, that's not true.
Clara: I know, but did you do it?
Riggan: No, I didn't do it.
Clara: Okay, then I'll just write that you're denying it.
Riggan: No, don't write anything! Why would you write anything? I didn't... don't write what she said.
Riggan: That guy is the worst actor I've ever seen in my life. The blood coming out of his ear was the most honest thing he's done so far.
Jake: It's not that bad.
Jake: Okay, it was fucking terrible.
Riggan: [waiting for his cue during Mike's scene] He's good, huh?
Annie: He's incredible. I think he's drinking real gin.
Mike Shiner: Riggan, your gun is ridiculous. I can see the red plug in the barrel, so you look like a kid with a plastic toy when you point it at me. I don't feel threatened at all. Get a better one. Have some self respect, please.
Sam: What's so funny?
Riggan: I can't smell them.
Riggan: I'm the answer to a fucking Trivial Pursuit question
[first lines]
Young Birdman: How did we end up here? This place is horrible. Smells like balls. We don't belong here.
Jake: He has a thing for nuns... in diapers.
Lesley: I'm pathetic. You know, I've dreamt of being a Broadway actress since I was a little kid. And now I'm here. And I'm not a Broadway actress. I'm still just a little kid. And I keep waiting for someone to tell me I made it.
Laura: [Sincerely] Hey. You made it.
Lesley: I did?
Laura: Sadly it was with Mike Shiner, on a fake motel bed.
Sam: [inspects Mike's black eye] Who did that to you? Could have been anybody, I suppose.
Sam: What kind of flowers did you say you wanted?
Riggan: Alchemillas, or something that smells nice.
Annie: The sunbed is here.
Riggan: What does that mean?
Annie: That means there is a sunbed out there being delivered to in here.
Riggan: What is this?
Sam: Oh yeah
Sam: thats pot.
Riggan: I wasn't even present in my own life, and now I don't have it, and I'm never going to have it.
Jake: [to Riggan] This isn't the 90s anymore.
Mike Shiner: They called me for an interview. I told them the first thing that came into my head. The front cover of the art section for Christ's sake.
Riggan: Fuck the art section!
Larry: Thank the Lord and pass the biscuits, I finally have an actor to dress.
Young Birdman: You could jump right back into that suit if you wanted to. We're not dead.
Riggan: Look at me. Look at this. Look, look, look! I look like a turkey with leukemia!
Lesley: Mike's available.
Riggan: I thought he was doing the thing...?
Lesley: He was. He quit... or got fired.
Riggan: Which is it, quit or fired?
Lesley: Well, with Mike it's usually both.
Young Birdman: You are lame, Riggan, rolling around with that poncy theater fuck in an 800-seat shithole like this. Oh, you really fucked up this time. You destroy a genius book with that infantile adaptation. Now you're about to destroy what's left of your career. It's pathetic.
Riggan: [trying to meditate] Breathing in, I am calm...
Young Birdman: Let's get the hell out of here while we can.
Riggan: [trying to meditate] ... I ignore this mental formation. This is a mental formation.
Young Birdman: Stop that shit! I'm not a mental formation. I'm you, asshole.
Riggan: Leave me alone.
Young Birdman: You were a movie star, remember? Pretentious, but happy.
Riggan: I wasn't happy.
Young Birdman: Ignorant, but charming. Now, you're just a tiny, bitter cocksucker.
Riggan: I was fucking miserable.
Young Birdman: Yeah, but fake miserable. Hollywood miserable. What are you trying to prove? You're an artist? You're not.
Riggan: Fuck you!
Young Birdman: No, fuck you, you coward. We grossed billions! You're ashamed of that? Billions!
Riggan: And billions of flies eat shit every day! So what? Does that make it good? I don't know if you noticed, but that was 1992!
Young Birdman: You could jump right back into that suit if you wanted to.
Riggan: [rips open his shirt] Oh, look at me! Look at this! Look, look, look! I look like a turkey with leukemia! I'm fucking disappearing. This is what's left! I'm the answer to a fucking Trivial Pursuit question!
Young Birdman: You're an impostor here. Eventually they will figure you out.
Riggan: What part of this don't you get? You're dead.
Young Birdman: We are not dead.
Riggan: Oh, please, just stay dead.
Young Birdman: We are not dead.
Young Birdman: Stop saying "we"! There is no "we"! I'm not fucking you! I'm Riggan fucking Thomson!
Young Birdman: No, you're Birdman. Because without me, all that's left is you, a sad, selfish, mediocre actor, grasping at the last vestiges of his career.
[Riggan uses telekinesis to grab his poster and slam it into the wall]
Young Birdman: What the hell did you do that for? I liked that poster. It's always "we", brother.
Riggan: Fuck you! Shut the fuck up! Leave me alone! You're fucking, so fucking annoying! Shut up!
[notices Jake enter the room and immediately calms down]
Riggan: Hey. What's up?
Riggan: [speaking to Mike as he walks into a bar] Where are you going?
Mike Shiner: They have coffee here.
Young Birdman: Without me, all that's left is you.
[repeated line]
Riggan: Twenty little leopards laughed at two lofty lions.
Sam: It all smells like fucking kimchi!