I’m going to choose one line of dialogue from each character which, for me, defines the person.
For me, a character-defining line of dialogue comes when she’s meeting Sal Price, the True Crime writer investigating Hannah McKay, at a restaurant. Although their relationship is professional, and they’re working a case, this is a date, so Sal throws a perfectly normal ‘date’ question at Deb, who responds with a perfectly abnormal answer.
What kind of music do you like?
A jail house door slamming shut, that’s my idea of music.
What does this tell us about Deb?
That she’s obsessed with her work – she is ALWAYS thinking about catching bad guys and locking them up! And because she’s obsessed with her job we might also say that she’s fiercely ambitious. What else does this line of dialogue say about her? It’s a cool answer, right? It’s a unique, acerbic sense of humor, but still funny.
So, we could say this line of dialogue defines three of Deb’s character traits: she’s work-obsessed, ambitious, and funny.
Do you agree ?
What about your characters? What one-liners define their personality?
Can you think of any more character-defining dialogue from other movie /TV characters?