George Bailey: Just a minute - just a minute. Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. You're right when you say my father was no businessman. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I'll never know. But neither you nor anyone else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was - why, in the twenty-five years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn't that right, Uncle Billy? He didn't save enough money to send Harry to school, let alone me. But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter, and what's wrong with that? Why - here, you're all businessmen here. Doesn't it make them better citizens? Doesn't it make them better customers? You - you said - what'd you say a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they're so old and broken down that they... Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you'll ever be.
George Bailey: (yelling at Uncle Billy) Where's that money, you silly stupid old fool? Where's that money? Do you realize what this means? It means bankruptcy and scandal and prison. That's what it means. One of us is going to jail - well, it's not gonna be me.
Nick: (ringing the cash register repeatedly) Get me. I'm givin' out wings.
Mr. Potter: (to George Bailey) Look at you. You used to be so cocky. You were going to go out and conquer the world. You once called me "a warped, frustrated, old man!" What are you but a warped, frustrated young man? A miserable little clerk crawling in here on your hands and knees and begging for help. No securities, no stocks, no bonds. Nothin' but a miserable little $500 equity in a life insurance policy. (Potter chuckles) Mr. Potter: You're worth more dead than alive!
Nick: Hey look, mister - we serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast, and we don't need any characters around to give the joint "atmosphere". Is that clear, or do I have to slip you my left for a convincer?
Uncle Billy: After all, Potter, some people like George HAD to stay at home. Not every heel was in Germany and Japan.
Nick: (slamming a bottle on the bar) That's it. Out you two pixies go - through the door, or out the window.
George Bailey: Now, come on, get your clothes on, and we'll stroll up to my car and get... Oh, I'm sorry. I'll stroll. You fly. Clarence: I can't fly. I haven't got my wings. George Bailey: You haven't got your wings. Yeah, that's right.
George Bailey: Well, maybe I left the car up at Martini's. Well, come on, Gabriel. Clarence: Clarence! George Bailey: Clarence. Clarence.
(George has discovered his brother Harry's tombstone) Clarence: (explaining) Your brother, Harry Bailey, broke through the ice and was drowned at the age of nine. George Bailey: That's a lie! Harry Bailey went to war - he got the Congressional Medal of Honor, he saved the lives of every man on that transport. Clarence: Every man on that transport died! Harry wasn't there to save them, because you weren't there to save Harry.
George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary. Mary: I'll take it. Then what? George Bailey: Well, then you can swallow it, and it'll all dissolve, see... and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair... am I talking too much?
Clarence: Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?
(George returns to the bridge where his nightmare began, hoping to bring back his old life) George Bailey: (praying) Clarence! Clarence! Help me, Clarence! Get me back! Get me back, I don't care what happens to me! Get me back to my wife and kids! Help me Clarence, please! Please! I wanna live again. I wanna live again. Please, God, let me live again. (it begins to snow again) Bert: (shouts) Hey, George! George! You all right? Hey, what's the matter? George Bailey: Now get outta here, Bert, or I'll hit you again! Get outta here! Bert: What the sam hill you yellin' for, George? George Bailey: You... (suddenly stunned) George Bailey: George... Bert? Do you know me? Bert: Know you? Huh. You kiddin'? I've been looking all over town trying to find you. I saw your car plowed into that tree down there and I thought maybe you - hey, your mouth's bleeding. Are you sure you're all right? George Bailey: What the... (licks the corner of his lip and checks his mouth with his hand) George Bailey: Ha, ha, ha, ha! My mouth's bleeding, Bert! My mouth's bleeding! Zuzu's petals... Zuzu... George Bailey: (checking his pocket) There they are! Bert, what do you know about that! Merry Christmas!
George Bailey: I wanna live again!
Man on Porch: Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death? George Bailey: You want me to kiss her, huh? Man on Porch: Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people.