A grim industrial England, stylish violence, men and women in suits puffing on cigarettes, and a lot of dramatic dialogues, Peaky Blinders has all of that. Five seasons old, the crime saga of the Shelby family has garnered a cult following of its own. There isn’t much scope for any emotional or teary monologues but Steven Knight’s script does not shy away from quick, sassy banter and cinematic lines among its characters, whether it be Thomas Shelby’s (Cillian Murphy) dry humor or Aunt Polly’s fiery comebacks.
In regards to this, here are 10 of the most memorable quotes from Peaky Blinders that fans aren’t bound to forget.
Updated April 30th, 2020 by Alyssa Avina. Peaky Blinders released their fifth season on Netflix only a few short months ago in December and we are already itching for the next season. It may be some time before that happens, but why not reflect on some of the best quotes of the series in the past five seasons of this incredible English gangster drama?
Whether you’re looking for wisdom or wit from our favorite English street gang, we’ve got you covered.
15 ‘By the order of…’
‘This place is under new management, by order of the Peaky Blinders.’
You mess with the Peaky Blinders and you get a bloodied face and a burnt bar. At least, if you anger Arthur, the loud-mouthed, hot-headed brother of family patriarch Thomas Shelby. The context of this iconic quote comes from a scene where Arthur’s cousin Michael is out at a bar with his friend. But the racist bar throws them out as Michael’s friend is a black man.
Angered by this disrespect of the Shelby family name, Arthur goes berserk. ‘By order of the Peaky Blinders’ became a fan favorite dialogue, being uttered in many other episodes too.
14 Sell Yourself
“Everyone’s a wh*re, Grace. We just sell different parts of ourselves.”
— Tommy Shelby
In the early days, before Tommy and Grace fell in love, Tommy wanted to use Grace’s charm and beauty to win over Billy Kimber. When Grace learned of Tommy’s true intentions of inviting her along to a race, she accused him of prostituting her for his own gain. This was his witty response.
The truth of it is, he’s not wrong. We all sell ourselves to get what we want, just in different ways.
13 Whiskey Shows Their True Colors
“Whisky’s good proofing water. Tells you who’s real and who isn’t.”
— Tommy Shelby
We can’t deny the truth behind this statement from Thomas Shelby himself. He uses this booze-induced trick to find out the truth behind other’s intentions — particularly his enemies.
Alcohol — especially whiskey — tends to loosen the inhibitions and lips of those who you need to see for who they really are. And no one knows that better than Tommy.
12 No Love
‘Men like us, Mr. Shelby, will always be alone. And what love we get, we will have to pay for.’
A villain so bad that he’s good. That’s Sam Neill’s Inspector Campbell. Initially, he has a vendetta against Thomas just because he’s on the other side of the law. But then he falls in love with undercover police agent Grace who is actually smitten with Thomas himself. Campbell wages his own personal war after falling in this love triangle.
In this quote, Campbell stresses that no matter what romantic dreams Thomas weaves, he is bound to lose Grace. After all, Thomas has chosen a dangerous life for himself which makes it hard to have any real commitments. And Campbell does turn out to be right a few seasons later with Grace’s fate as we find out a few seasons later.
11 Final Words
‘Oh…And there’s a woman. Yeah. A woman…I love…and I got close. I nearly got f****** EVERYTHING!’
The show-runners of Peaky Blinders have a usual trope of putting Thomas in near-death situations towards the season finale. This is the case in the last episode of Season 2. Inspector Campbell’s words ring true to Thomas who feels he’s about to die. He laments on how he had finally found the love of his life and still, this gangster could not get his fairy tale ending.
Thomas starts his rant peacefully puffing on a cigarette but then shouts his lungs out looking up at the sky. The angst in Cillian Murphy’s dialogue gives us one of the show’s most iconic moments.
10 Angry Alfie
‘WHAT F****** LINE AM I SUPPOSED TO HAVE CROSSED?! How many fathers, right, how many sons, yeah, have you cut, killed, murdered, butchered, innocent and guilty, to send straight to f****** Hell, ain’t ya?! JUST LIKE ME! ‘
Tom Hardy’s addition to the show’s cast as Jewish gangster-businessman Alfie was a welcome move. A wise yet witty character, his lines were mostly humorous until this moment. Thomas’s son is kidnapped and he suspects Alfie. So, Thomas holds him at gunpoint, guilt-tripping him for his crimes. But Alfie in this angry monologue counter-questions Thomas’s life choices.
No matter how heroic Thomas might act, he’s still a ruthless gangster in the end. Hence, he and Alfie Solomons are no different.
9 The Epitome Of High Class
“Good taste is for people who can’t afford sapphires.”
— Tommy Shelby
By the beginning of the third season, Tommy Shelby and the Peaky Blinders as a whole are flush with cash. They don’t have to want for anything and Tommy makes sure his wife, Grace, has everything she deserves. That includes humungous sapphires.
When he receives them as payment from the Russians, he makes one into a gorgeous necklace for her to wear to their charity event. She remarks that likely wouldn’t be tasteful to wear to a charity event when he replies with this one-liner. It was a stunning piece of jewelry, so who needs good taste?
8 Men, Men, Men
‘Men and their c***s never cease to amaze me.’
Polly, the brains behind most of the Shelby business and an aunt to the gangster brothers, delivers gems of sarcasm and savagery whenever she’s on-screen. Aunt Polly says then when the youngest brother John Shelby announces that he wishes to marry a prostitute. She generalizes how men mostly think from their genitals rather than their minds.
This quote also shows Polly’s disdain towards men, as she lives in 20th-century England when working women aren’t looked at in a positive light. Yet, Polly perseveres to do her own thing and remains to be one of the Peaky Blinders’ strongest members.
7 Heaven Or Hell
‘May you be in heaven a full half-hour before the devil knows you’re dead.’
Grace and Thomas’s love story is almost Shakespearean. Initially, Grace poses as a barmaid and Thomas finds solace in her company. A constant drinker, Thomas heads out to his pub in an empty hour and asks if Grace can raise a toast. She says that she’s Irish so she can make a million toasts.
Grace knows that Thomas has committed enough sins to go to hell, but she still looks at some of the niceness that he conceals. And this is what drives her to our protagonist.
6 Wise Words From Alfie
“Intelligence is a very valuable thing, innit, my friend. And usually, it comes far too f****** late.”
— Alfie Solomons
Alfie Solomons may be a vicious gangster who only looks out for himself, but many fans of Peaky Blinders look at him as a fan-favorite. He’s hilarious in his demeanor and dialogue and Tom Hardy plays him to perfection.
This quote is one of the more wise phrases uttered by Alfie. He is always ten steps ahead and this proves why. Intelligence is something to be valued and only the smart prevail in their world.
5 Heaven Or Hell #2
‘Who wants to be in heaven when you can be sending men to f****** hell?’
Arthur has a different philosophy altogether when it comes to matters of heaven and hell. Although Arthur faces PTSD and addiction issues, later on, he has mostly been a wild beast on the loose. This line only expands on his fits of bloodlust and rage.
If one had to compare gangster characters, Arthur would clearly be a distant relative to Joe Pesci from Goodfellas or The Godfather‘s Sonny Corleone!
4 Big Guns
‘Sergeant Thorne, reporting for duty, sir.’
Billy Kimber, one of the baddies of the first season arrives with his gang outnumbering Shelby and his men. Catching an opportunity to crack a dialogue, Thomas calmly says that if they’re going to fight with guns, they should use ‘proper guns’.
And it’s then when Thomas’s brother-in-law and fellow war veteran, Freddie comes out with a stolen Chinese machine gun in hand. Kimber and his henchmen are stunned. Even though not much gunfire happens after this, Freddie’s entry itself makes the scene cool enough.
3 Don’t Cross Tommy
“I just put a bullet in his head…he looked at me the wrong way.”
— Tommy Shelby
After something happened to Tommy’s new prized horse, he had to suddenly put it out of its misery. He then goes straight to The Garrison to get a drink and talk with his favorite barmaid, Grace.
She sings for him and the two become even closer. But not before she asks about his horse and he tells her the truth. Mostly. That may not be the real reason why he killed the horse, but he says this to also let her know he’s a dangerous man. She still doesn’t stay away, though.
2 ‘No FIGHTING!’
‘No fighting. No f****** fighting. No fighting. NO F****** FIGHTING!’
It’s Thomas’s wedding day. It’s funny to see the Shelbys interact with Grace’s family, most of whom are members of the British Army. Shelby just hopes that none of his kin embarrasses him in front of his in-laws so he takes his brothers and mates in the kitchen to give them some instructions.
The instructions range from not snorting cocaine, not firing any guns, and absolutely no fighting. This line plays out funnily and is easy ‘meme-material’.
1 Don’t. Just Don’t
‘Don’t f*** with the Peaky Blinders!’
This is a simple and direct line, capturing the fear that the Peaky Blinders wish to create in the mind of their adversaries. Inspector Campbell continues to bother the Shelby’s and even sexually harasses Polly. But Polly is undeterred and issues a straight threat at him. You just don’t mess with the Peaky Blinders.
Just like ‘by the order of the Peaky Blinders’, this too became a common quote among the franchise’s fans. Unfortunately, Campbell was the only one who never took these words seriously!
NEXT: 10 Most Dangerous Characters In Peaky Blinders