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A rich kid becomes the self-appointed psychiatrist to the student body of his new high school.
Charlie Bartlett: For the first time, everybody likes me. Principal Nathan Gardner: There are more important things. Charlie Bartlett: Look, I know. Everybody keeps saying that, but the thing IS is I'm 17 and popularity is pretty damn important to me. Principal Nathan Gardner: Charlie, there are more important things Charlie Bartlett: Like what? Principal Nathan Gardner: Like what you do with that popularity.
Charlie Bartlett: My name is Charlie Bartlett. If there's one thing I want you guys to walk away with tonight... uh, it's that you guys don't need me. I really mean it. You think I'm any less screwed up than you are? I get up every morning, and I look in the mirror, and I try and figure out just where I fit in. And I draw a complete blank. You guys are looking to me to tell you what to do? You need to stop listening to me. Stop listening to people telling you who you should be! And stop listening to the people who are telling you you're not good enough to do the things that you want to do. You guys have all the answers.
[last lines] Dr. P. Sarossy: I must say, of all the kids applying for a summer internship, you have quite a checkered history. Charlie Bartlett: I understand, and I'm sure you have a whole stack of people with perfect backgrounds and no, uh... disciplinary record. Really, I'd do anything to work here. Dr. P. Sarossy: Well, let's get on with the interview. I... got a hell of a day ahead of me. Charlie Bartlett: Would you like to talk about it?
Principal Nathan Gardner: [repeating lines from earlier] How's THAT working for you? Charlie Bartlett: Some days are better than others.
Charlie Bartlett: I just think you're missing the big picture. Kip Crombwell: What big picture? Charlie Bartlett: The universe. Kip Crombwell: What about the universe? Charlie Bartlett: Well, the universe is a pretty big place. Kip Crombwell: Yea. It's infinite, theoretically. Charlie Bartlett: Right, which means there's probably life on other planets. Kip Crombwell: Not life like we think, but yeah. Probably at least single-cell organisms. Charlie Bartlett: Well, see, that's my whole point. I mean, you could've been born a single cell organism on the planet Zortex. In fact, given the odds, it's probably more likely, but you weren't. You were born a human being. And not just any human being in the history of human beings, but a human being that gets to be alive today, that gets to listen to all kinds of music, that gets to eat food from every culture, that gets to download porn off the internet. So, really, you have everything to live for. [pause] Charlie Bartlett: Do you feel better? Kip Crombwell: Not really.
Charlie Bartlett: How's that going for you? Principal Nathan Gardner: Some days are better than others. Charlie Bartlett: Do you wanna talk about it sometime?
Charlie Bartlett: Oh, trust me, Doc, bringing psychiatric drugs and teenagers together is like opening a lemonade stand in the desert.
Dr. Stan Weathers: You don't feel normal? Charlie Bartlett: My family has a psychiatrist on call. How normal can I be?
Charlie Bartlett: Maybe you got slapped around one too many times for your lunch money on your way to the bus. Maybe your pop's gotta booze himself up every morning so he can plow roads with a sense of humor, then, when he gets home, you're just a distance third to sloppy joes and a bad sitcom. Maybe the cheerleaders call you a scumbag behind your back. Maybe it's 'cause the school's got you placed on the remedial track and your teachers are really good at making you feel like an idiot. Maybe it's none of these things. Maybe it's all of 'em.
Charlie Bartlett: Well, duh, dude, this place sucks, but I just worry that one day we're gonna look back at high school and wish we'd done something different.
Susan Gardner: What's the deal with your father? Charlie Bartlett: Does that really have to be the next question? Susan Gardner: Yes. The harder the question, the greater the reward. Charlie Bartlett: He's in prison. My Mom went into a pretty bad depression when he got arrested. So, uh, when he was out on bail he took me out for ice cream. He told me I had to take care of her. So, I promised him I would. And um, I've been taking care of her ever since. Susan Gardner: So who takes care of you?
Charlie Bartlett: I guess I should tell you about the first time I had my period. My daddy was driving me back from summer camp, and I turned to him and said, "Daddy, I think I'm sloughing!" And he said, "That's nice, honey." And I realized that he had, like, NO IDEA what sloughing meant! So, I explained to him that it meant blood was gushing from my YOU-KNOW-WHERE! And he nearly wrecked the car trying to hand me a wad of fast food napkins - which is not something that you particularly want to stick up your hooch!
Charlie Bartlett: Obsessive behavior is I guess you what guys call it. Like, whenever I hear anyone say a word that starts with the letter... [Charlie forms a 'P' with his fingers] Charlie Bartlett: ...I have to say five words that start with the letter 'V' and tap my head with my right hand. Dr. Jacob Kaufmann: Perhaps we should start... Charlie Bartlett: [taps his head violently with his right hand on each word] VIAGRA! VIRGIN! VENAL! VAGABOND! VAGINA!
Principal Gardner: Oh, I encourage you to listen all you like, but let's face it, you're not a professional. Marilyn Bartlett: No. Principal Gardner: And these medications have a legitimate use. They've helped a lot of people. It's a generational thing. You know teenagers always find a way to abuse something. And why not, right? Being zonked out of your mind is a lot more fun than dealing with your problems.
Principal Nathan Gardner: Everybody needs to vent a little now and again, don't you figure? Some of us are privileged enough to vent to you in the boys' room stall and the rest of us have to settle for less conventional methods, like, I don't know, a bottle of booze and a handgun. [gun goes off] Charlie Bartlett: Ahh! Principal Nathan Gardner: [sarcastically and cruelly] God, I'm sorry. I'm-I'm not putting you on edge with my behavior, am I?
Principal Nathan Gardner: Never, never attack a drunk guy with a gun.
Charlie Bartlett: Mom, they were just starting to appreciate me. You know, I was the guy that everyone wanted to meet. Marilyn Bartlett: Well, maybe there's more to high school than being well-liked. Charlie Bartlett: Like what, specifically? Marilyn Bartlett: [thinks for a second] Nothing comes to mind.
Henry Freemont: [carrying a protest sign that says "THIS IS A SCHOOL NOT A PRISON" and chanting on bullhorn] This is a school, not a prison. Principal Gardner: Thanks, because I couldn't read the sign.
[first lines] Charlie Bartlett: Thank You. Thank you very much. Thank you. How you all doing tonight. It's great to see all of you here. My name is Charlie Bartlett.
Dr. Stan Weathers: Now, your mom tells me that you've been getting into scraps with the other boys. Charlie Bartlett: That's the best euphemism for getting the living crap kicked out of you that I've ever heard. Dr. Stan Weathers: And why do you suppose you're being pocked on? Charlie Bartlett: I don't know, I'm abnormal I guess. Dr. Stan Weathers: You don't feel normal... Charlie Bartlett: My family has a psychiatrist on call. How normal can that be?
Charlie Bartlett: I thought you were going to kill yourself. Principal Nathan Gardner: I can't kill myself, I've got too many responsibilities. You okay? Never, never attack a drunk guy with a gun. Do you understand?
Charlie Bartlett: Well, at least you're attracted to somebody. I mean, if you weren't, then we'd really be up shit's creek.
Murphy Bivens: I'll see you in the sequel, bitch!
Charlie Bartlett: Watch Murphy Bivens' fists of fury pummel your best friends! Get 'em while they last! Bert Bannister hit in the face! Charlie Bartlett punched in the eye! Instant gratification or your money back!
Dr. Stan Weathers: Du'e, your mom tells me that you have been getting into scrapes with the other boys. Charlie Bartlett: It's the best euphemism for getting the living crap kicked out of you that I've ever heard.
Marilyn Bartlett: [note for Charlie left on the piano] Ritalin in the bag, dinner in the oven. Love, Mom.
Kip Crombwell: If it helps your decision, I'd be considerably less likely to end my life if you said yes.
Murphy Bivens: [cornering him] What's that, a briefcase? Charlie Bartlett: Actually, I believe it's an attaché case. Kip Crombwell: What's that thing on your jacket mean? Charlie Bartlett: Oh, this. "cor ad cor loquitur". It's in Latin. I think the translation is "heart speaks to heart", but I may be wrong. Murphy Bivens: So, you like a total faggot, or what? Charlie Bartlett: Is that a rhetorical question?
Marilyn Bartlett: I mean, look at me - I'm as fit as a fucking fiddle!
Murphy Bivens: Okay, maybe you're not a total tool, but guys like you and guys like me can't be friends. Charlie Bartlett: Why is that? Murphy Bivens: I take the train tracks home. You drive around in a limo. Charlie Bartlett: I guess you're right. Look, I got ninety pills of Ritalin that we could sell at the dance. Maybe we're just gonna have to settle for being business partners.
Murphy Bivens: How does that feel? I don't care. You know why? 'Cause that was a rhetorical question!
Charlie Bartlett: [passes a note to Susan] Hi, I'm Charlie. Susan Gardner: [replies on a new piece of paper] Yeah, I know.
Charlie Bartlett: What about your mom? Dustin Lauderbach: She only hears about half the stuff I say. What is that? There's a word for it. Charlie Bartlett: Menopause. Dustin Lauderbach: So, what should I do? Charlie Bartlett: Well, I think one of our duties as teenagers is to occasionally piss off our parents. So go for it, okay?
Susan Gardner: [seeing Charlie for the first time] They didn't give you a locker in the teachers' lounge?
Charlie Bartlett: I'm just a stupid kid.
Susan Gardner: I guess what I'm trying to say is, it just... It kind of sucks having one parent ditch, and then the other one lose their mind. [pause] Susan Gardner: I mean, how can I possibly hope to turn out even remotely functional? Charlie Bartlett: Yeah.
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