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In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is almost entirely submerged, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw "smokers," and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.
Deacon: Don't just stand there, kill something!
Enola: He doesn't have a name so Death can't find him!
Narrator: The future... The polar ice caps have melted, covering the earth with water. Those who survived have adapted, to a new world.
Deacon: Dry land is not just our destination, it is our destiny!
Mariner: I want the girl. Deacon: You know, I thought you were stupid, friend. But I underestimated you. You are a total freaking retard! Ha-ha-ha... Mariner: I want the girl. That's all. Deacon: Well, what on this screwed-up earth of ours makes you think you're gonna get her? [the Mariner takes a flare from his belt, and holds it over a hole leading down to the Deez's fuel hold] Mariner: You know what this is. I drop it, you burn. Doctor: We all burn... Deacon: Now-now-now, let's not do anything rash here. I mean, are you sure this kid is worth it? I mean, she never does stop talking, she never shuts up! Mariner: I noticed. Deacon: So what is it, then? It's the map. Mariner: She's my friend. Deacon: Golly gee, a single tear rolls down my cheek. You're gonna die for your friend. Mariner: If it comes to that. [He ignites the flare, and holds it over the hole again] Nord: He's bluffing! I'll kill him. Enola: He's not bluffing, he never bluffs. Deacon: SHUT UP! [to the Mariner] Deacon: I-I-I-I-I don't think you're gonna drop that torch, my friend. Mariner: Why not? Deacon: Because you're not crazy. [the Mariner smiles, lifts his hand, and drops the flare down the hole] Deacon: NO-O-O-O-O!
Nord: So which way we rowin'? Deacon: I don't have a goddamn clue. Don't worry, they'll row for a month before they figure out I'm fakin' it.
Deacon: Maybe he doesn't answer to Chuck. Call him Charles.
[speaking of dry land] Mariner: Because I haven't seen it. And I've sailed further than most men have dreamed.
Mariner: Two drifters meet. Something needs to be exchanged. Drifter: I know the code. But I'll give this one to you for free. Mariner: Nothing's free in Waterworld.
Mariner: I've seen your boat before. Haven't seen you.
Helen: I thought you all stopped for each other. Maybe he has some FOOD!
Deacon: Let's have an intelligent conversation here: I'll talk, and you listen.
Deacon: You know, I thought you were stupid, friend. But I underestimated you; you're a total freakin' retard!
Mariner: This is my boat. I got it the way I like it. You take up space and you slow me down.
Deacon: If I ever see him again, I'm going to cut open his head and eat his brain.
Depth Gauge: Sir? Your Deaconship? Good day! Or night. Whatever the case may be... Deacon: What is it? I'm a busy man. Depth Gauge: I thought you should know. There's exactly nine feet and four inches of THE BLACK STUFF... [the Deacon spits on the Depth Gauge's head] Depth Gauge: Oh, thank you!
Deacon: Wanna cigarette? You're never too young to start.
Deacon: Look, it's the gentleman guppy.
Gatesman: [while wrestling with Mariner trying to apprehend him, sees with horror a gill behind the Mariner's ear; with abhorrence] Mu-u-ta-tion!
Deacon: How 'bout a cigarette? Nothing like a good smoke when you miss your mom... Never too young to start...
Enola: You're not so tough, you know that? How many people have you killed? Ten? Twenty? Mariner: You talk a lot. Enola: I talk a lot because you don't talk at all. Now, how many? Mariner: Including little girls? Enola: I'm not afraid of you. I told Helen you wouldn't be so ugly if you cut your hair. Mariner: In fact, you talk all the time. It's like a storm when you're around!
[after painting a ball bearing in the Deacon's eye socket to look like a real one] Deacon: Well? How's it look? [the other smokers say, "not bad," "not bad at all", etc] Doctor: I-I like it better than your real eye. [One smoker says, "much better," to general agreement] Deacon: What do you say, Toby? The truth. Toby: Looks like shit. Deacon: That's why I love children: no guile. [after looking at his new eye in a mirror] Deacon: It does look like shit.
Depth Gauge: [Sees the Mariner's lit flare about to fall on the oil. An end to his miserable existence] Oh, thank God! [Kaboom]
Deacon: If you'll notice the arterial nature of the blood coming from the hole in my head, you can assume that we're all having a real lousy day.
Nord: [to the Mariner] You should have stayed under water.
Deacon: Well, I'll be damned. It's the gentleman guppy. You know, he's like a turd that won't flush.
Enola: [after the Mariner drops the flare and the boat is burning] Was this your big vision?
Drifter: Forget the bag. It's not worth it. You'll never make it with your sails down.
Mariner: What are the markings on her back? Helen: Some say it's the way to dry land. Mariner: Dry land is a myth. Helen: No, you said it yourself, that you've seen it. Mariner: You're a fool to believe in something you've never seen. Helen: But the things on your boat...! Mariner: The things on my boat, what? Helen: There are things on your boat that no one has ever seen. These shells, the music box and the reflecting glass. Well, if not from dry land, then where? Where? Mariner: You wanna see dry land? You really wanna see it? I'll take you there.
Mariner: My boat.
[while holding Helen and the Mariner at gunpoint] Deacon: All right, that's it! If you won't tell us where she is, let's just KILL 'EM ALL! [He fires a gun into the air] Enola: [popping up from her hiding place] NO! Deacon: Ha-ha, so gullible!
Deacon: He'll see what's left of you in a goddamn jar!
Deacon: I've had a vision so great, as it came to me I wept.
[after the deck of the Deez clears, one lone figure walks toward the bridge] Deacon: Why aren't you rowing? [the Mariner removes his mask] Nord: [laughs] It's him. Enola: It is him! You guys are in so much trouble.
Helen: Did you see anything out there? Mariner: See what? Helen: An end, to all this water? Mariner: That old woman they buried today? She found the only end there is.