A spell-binding tale with themes of identity and the blurred lines between good and evil, Spirited Away is an entrancing adventure that’s chock-full of mystery and memorable Spirited Away quotes. Spirited Away from Studio Ghibli is the Oscar-winning masterpiece by director and animator Hayao Miyazaki. One of Ghibli’s most well-known works, it follows a young girl named Chihiro, who is in the process of moving to a new town with her parents. On the way, they stumble into a mysterious Spirit Realm, where Chihiro gets separated from her mom and dad. The story sees Chihiro adapting to and exploring this unfamiliar place, and trying to reunite her family.
The movie explores themes of growing up, memory, and consumerism, and these ideas are reflected in the words of the film’s characters. Spirited Away contains a fair few bizarre Studio Ghibli creatures based on folklore that are meant to indoctrinate Chihiro, rebranded Sen, into Yubaba’s strange and mystical prison. Her two biggest companions become Haku, a river spirit who has forgotten his identity, and the bathhouse worker Lin, who yearns to leave the Spirit Realm. While the narrative zeroes on in Chihiro’s experiences and arc, due attention is paid to side characters and their own respective stories, often resulting in memorable or wise Spirited Away quotes.
20 “I Finally Get A Bouquet And It’s A Goodbye Present. That’s Depressing.”
One of the best Spirited Away quotes serves as the perfect introduction to Chihiro’s character and where she starts her arc before she enters the Spirit Realm. Chihiro starts Spirited Away feeling dejected. She has to move away from the life that she knows, which includes her friends, and though she has a beautiful gift from them, it only serves to remind her of her current situation. This quote serves to highlight both the loneliness and unexpected humor within Chihiro. It shows her childish response to the kind gesture that her friend made, establishing the point from which she will grow over the course of the movie.
19 “I’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place. Someday I’m Getting On That Train.”
While on the surface one of the best Spirited Away quotes from Lin could simply voice her desire to escape her current life in the overbearing bathhouse, it also serves a greater purpose. It’s suggested that Lin has worked at the bathhouse for a long time, and she is skilled at her job. Because of this, the quote implies that Lin doesn’t necessarily want to escape the physical space of bathhouse, but rather that she desires to build her own life. Additionally, this desire to leave gives Lin and Chihiro a common goal, allowing them to grow closer to one another.
18 “Come On! Quit Eating! Let’s Get Out Of Here!”
This is one of the most central Spirited Away quotes, and marked the initial downfall of Chihiro’s parents. It not only suggests that Chihiro instinctively knew that the food her parents were eating was not meant for them, but also serves as a way to show that she is fundamentally different from her mother and father. Furthermore, there is something about this line children can connect with; a lack of parental understanding. More specifically, that parents often don’t heed the warnings of their children. Ignoring Chihiro’s plea soon proves to be a big mistake, as her parents’ greed leads to them being transformed into pigs.
17 “If You Make Sen Cry I Won’t Like You Anymore.”
One of the best Spirited Away quotes shows that despite the initial distrust and prejudice Chihiro (Sen) experienced from the bathhouse staff and residents, there are individuals there that learn to look past their expectations and see Chihiro for the individual that she is. This quote, in particular, comes from one of the most unlikely sources. Spoken by the baby Boh to his mother Yubaba, it also shows how much he has grown as a person from Chihiro’s friendship. Boh defies his mother’s expectations by siding with Chihiro, and by asserting his own will on behalf of someone else, rather than for selfish reasons.
16 “The Radish Spirit!”
In terms of the best Spirited Away quotes, this exclamation references one of the best spirits from Spirited Away, the Radish Spirit. It illustrates the exuberance of the characters in the film, and the uniqueness of characters that Miyazaki creates. While most spirits are not the main characters in the movie, they do a great deal to flesh out the Spirit Realm, showing its many sides. Some are resented by staff, some are benevolent, some come purely to test the staff, and some have darker motives. The Radish Spirit would later become an ally to Chihiro, and Lin’s greeting of him shows that she doesn’t fear him.
15 “Quit Whining. It’s Fun To Move To A New Place, It’s An Adventure.”
Studio Ghibli characters are not known for being meek, which usually leads to the best Spirited Away quotes. Viewers only meet Chihiro’s mother for a few brief scenes at the start of the film, but even in this small time, a clear dynamic is established between the parents and their daughter. Chihiro starts the movie as a demanding, upset child. Her parents have no patience for her behavior, not considering their big move from her point of view, and urge her to see the change as an opportunity. At the same time, this line hints at the huge adventure to come, though it’s not the sort that Chihiro’s mother imagined.
14 “So, Your Name’s Chihiro? What A Pretty Name! And It Belongs To Me Now.”
One of the most memorable Spirited Away quotes comes from the antagonistic owner of the bathhouse, the witch Yubaba, and it explains both the premise of the film and how she is able to keep others under her control. After Lin leads Chihiro to Yubaba, the witch admits that she took an oath to give anyone work who asks for it. However, this job comes with a catch. When Yubaba presents Chihiro with a contract, she quickly renames her Sen, declaring that her old name belongs to her. Haku eventually explains to Chihiro that taking away her name in Spirited Away and making her forget is how Yubaba keeps people trapped.
13 “I Don’t Need Any Help, This Place Is Full Of Soot.”
One of the best Spirited Away quotes facilitates a highly-amusing and imaginative scene. When Chihiro arrives in the Spirit Realm, she is told by Haku to go to the boiler man and ask him for work. When she finally finds him, he curtly remarks that he has all the help that he needs. The audience is then introduced to the soot sprites (also known as Susuwatari), soot creatures that look like small fluff balls with big eyes, and who previously featured in My Neighbor Totoro. One of the best non-human Studio Ghibli characters, they capture the whimsy of the Spirit Realm, showing that not everything in the place is scary.
12 “Play With Me Or I’ll Break Your Arm.”
Boh is Yubaba’s giant baby son who she keeps locked away, and he says a couple of the best Spirited Away quotes. Like the other side characters, Boh gets his own arc and his current state of mind is easily guessed when upon meeting Chihiro, he threatens her. When Chihiro first encounters Yubaba’s monstrous offspring under a sea of blankets, he suggests that she should play with him, or else he’ll break her arm. This quote is a stark representation of how much Boh grows in Spirited Away, from a shut-in antagonist to a loyal ally.
11 “Thank The Boiler Man, You Idiot.”
Soon after meeting Kamajī the boiler man, one of Spirited Away‘s characters with mythological origins, Chihiro meets Lin, the bathhouse worker. Initially, Lin gives Chihiro a hard time, insulting her intelligence and seeming displeased that she will have to help her find a job. While it’s a harsh introduction, Lin’s Spirited Away quotes are similar to Kamajī’s first words to Chihiro, and yet only a few minutes after he speaks them—when Lin walks in and is alarmed to see a human—the boiler man protects her by claiming she is his granddaughter. This parallel points to the fact that Lin, like Kamajī, will soon become a friend to Chihiro.
10 “We Don’t Want Her. She’ll Stink The Whole Place Up.”
The Bathhouse Workers
Once Chihiro enters the Spirit Realm, she finds herself completely out of her depth, resulting in some funny Spirited Away quotes from the Realm’s inhabitants. Although she finagles her way into getting a contract to stay on and work, it doesn’t do her much good when she comes face to face with her fellow workers. Nobody wants to take Chihiro on as a co-worker, citing her foul human “smell” as the reason. This prejudice adds to Chihiro’s feelings of isolation in the story but also motivates her to prove her worth as a hard worker so that the group will accept her.
9 “This Is A High-Class Place I’m Running Here!”
Yubaba has few Spirited Away quotes that elicit laughter from the audience, but this is certainly one of them. While Yubaba is explaining the finer points of Chihiro’s new job, she proudly declares that she’s running a high-class establishment and that Chihiro would do well to behave herself. The bathhouse can hardly be considered “high-class” if Chihiro’s first customer is a river spirit who has a bicycle and a ton of other trash stuck in his body and the establishment is run by people who have been stripped of their identity. Regardless, it says a lot about Yubaba’s character and points out the differences between her and her sister Zeniba.
8 “I Promise I’ll Get You Out Of Here…Just Don’t Get Any Fatter Or They’ll Eat You!”
Spirited Away sees Chihiro learning to be independent, but ironically, she landed in her sticky situation in the first place as a result of her parents’ own greed. One of the best Spirited Away quotes refers to the fact that they refuse to stop eating at a sacred buffet intended for spirits, and as punishment are turned into pigs. The teachers in this tale are not the parents. Indeed, as is the case in many of Miyazaki’s films, the parents are just as flawed as the children. In a way, this acts as an equalizer and sets up Chihiro as the protagonist to be treated as a complex individual.
7 “No-Face, If You Even Put One Scratch On That Girl, You’re In Big Trouble.”
One thing that’s clear about Lin is that she fears little, and some of the best Spirited Away quotes are because of this. After Chihiro has made the journey from co-worker to ally and mentee in Lin’s eyes, she takes Chihiro to the station to see Zeniba but Chihiro wants to invite No-Face along. Lin vehemently protests this, as No-Face has only recently regurgitated all of the food and workers he’s eaten. The quote showcases just how much Lin has grown to care for Chihiro and her safety over the course of Spirited Away, when she was initially annoyed and reluctant to lend a helping hand.
6 “If You Completely Forget…You’ll Never Find Your Way Home.”
Haku gives Chihiro a piece of paper with her name on it with one of the most enlightening Spirited Away quotes. Yubaba took Chihiro’s name, decreeing that she would now be known as Sen, in doing so gaining control of her and preventing her from returning to her old life. Haku has forgotten his own true name, and doesn’t want the same thing to happen to Chihiro. This quote illustrates one of several instances where Haku helps Chihiro, and also speaks to the mutability of identity, and how holding on to the identity that one prefers is not always a given, but takes conscious effort.
5 “I Can’t Believe You Pulled It Off! You’re Such A Dope, I Was Really Worried.”
Lin cares more for Chihiro than she originally intends to, leading to some of Lin’s most heartwarming Spirited Away quotes. In fact, this is the case with many of Spirited Away’s characters, showing that beyond assumptions and prejudice, real connections can be formed. Initially, Lin seems like a hardened worker with only her own interest in mind, but as the movie progresses it’s revealed that she is a kind young person hoping to find a way to change her life for the better. Lin’s blunt treatment of Chihiro ultimately comes from a place of care, even if her words can seem thoughtless at times.
4 “I Remember You Falling Into My River, And I Remember Your Little Pink Shoe.”
One of the biggest triumphs in Spirited Away is that Chihiro keeps hold of her identity, and Haku regains his. Out of all the Spirited Away quotes, this is the most likely to bring tears to audiences’ eyes as Haku reclaims his identity of the Kohaku River spirit and affirms Chihiro’s story that he remembers when she fell into the river to retrieve her little pink shoe. The fact that Haku saved her life many years prior and the love between Chihiro and Haku is one of the sweeter elements of the movie. No one expected that while trying to help Chihiro keep her identity, Haku would rediscover his.
3 “Welcome The Rich Man, He’s Hard For You To Miss; His Butt Keeps Getting Bigger, So There’s Plenty There To Kiss!”
One of the most likable Studio Ghibli characters, No-Face, first appears as a mysterious spirit offering gold to the bathhouse workers. No-Face puts their greediness and selfishness on display. This quote summarizes that arc in a humorous way, as the staff tries to please No-Face in order to earn as much gold as they can from him. No-Face, on the other hand, consumes everything around him but is never satisfied. He tries desperately to please Chihiro, implying that his initial gluttony was a symptom of loneliness. Ultimately, the character has a happy ending, finding a quiet life that suits his true nature with the witch Zeniba in the countryside.
2 “Staying In This Room Is What Will Make You Sick!”
Chihiro has surprisingly one of the wisest Spirited Away quotes when she confronts Boh over his captivity. Boh is convinced that if he goes outside he will be exposed to deadly germs. He tells Chihiro not to touch him, declaring she will make him sick. This quote is Chihiro’s reply, which signals a turning point in her growth as a character. The quote contrasts directly with the Chihiro that audiences were first introduced to. By this point in the narrative, Chihiro has learned the hard way that exposure helps one grow, and she recognizes that Boh is being harmed, not protected, by being so coddled.
1 “Once You’ve Met Someone You Never Really Forget Them. It Just Takes A While For Your Memories To Return.”
Spirited Away has ultimately a bittersweet ending. While Chihiro and her parents experience life-changing events in the Spirit Realm, they leave without retaining their memories of them. Though altered as an individual, Chihiro forgets those who helped her get there. However, one of the best Spirited Away quotes suggests that these memories could return someday. Yubaba’s twin sister Zeniba says this line to Chihiro, and it’s relevant not only in regard to the movie’s conclusion but also in reference to the lost memories and names of the bathhouse workers. As the best Spirited Away quote, it summarizes the movie’s themes in a poignant and simple way.