Monologues are like jazz squares — everybody loves a good one. Monologues tend to come in emotional dramas, especially speeches made by women, so they are not for the faint of heart. That said, the emotional ones are the most memorable, as proven by the 13 most unforgettable monologues by women in movies listed below. Spoiler alert: you will need tissues to make your way down the list, though some more humorous speeches have also been included to ensure you don't start sobbing at your desk.
What makes a monologue memorable? Well, in the case of some of the most famous ones by women in film, the secret ingredient could just be an Oscar (or at least an Oscar nomination). It's hard to believe anyone will ever forget the monologue that won Viola Davis her Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2016's Fences, for example. Other monologues become unforgettable because they earn a place in pop culture, like Carrie Fisher's speech in Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. But, what really makes a monologue unforgettable is the actor delivering it. Let's face it: speeches are only as good as the actors performing them, and the most unforgettable monologues by women in film leave an impression because of the talent behind them. Watch and see for yourself.
1Julia Roberts — 'Erin Brokovich'
The infamous "Numbers" monologue from Erin Brokovich is unforgettable because of Roberts' no nonsense delivery.
2Julia Stiles — '10 Things I Hate About You'
The poem that makes all '90s girls cry.
3America Ferrera — 'Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants'
Just thinking about this scene is enough to make me break down in tears.
4Carrie Fisher — 'A New Hope'
Carrie Fisher never forgot the lines to this monologue, and I don't think we will anytime soon.
5Viola Davis — 'Fences'
I know it's only been a few months, but there's no way that Viola Davis' monologue in Fences won't be taught in acting schools for decades to come.
6Vivien Leigh — 'Gone With The Wind'
The monologue that gave way too many people the desire to say "as God as my witness."
7Amy Adams — 'Junebug'
Amy Adams earned her first Oscar nomination for Junebug, and this monologue proves why she got it.
8Alicia Silverstone — 'Clueless'
The fact that this speech was everywhere in the Women's March — "It does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty" signs galore — is proof enough of Clueless' staying power.
9Mo'Nique — 'Precious'
The tragic nature of Mo'Nique's monologue in Precious will make you want to forget it, but watching her performance makes that impossible.
10Michelle Williams — 'Manchester By The Sea'
Michelle Williams should really have a mic to drop at the end of this heartbreaking monologue.
11Sally Field — 'Steel Magnolias'
Another tearjerker, Sally Field's monologue at the end of Steel Magnolias is enough to bring the toughest audience member to tears.
12Debra Winger — 'Terms Of Endearment'
Ok, this speech from Terms of Endearment is the last heartbreaker, I promise.
13Hilary Duff — 'A Cinderella Story'
Ok, maybe Hilary Duff's monologue at the end of A Cinderella Story isn't known the world over, but I'd bet that most '90s and early '00s girls know every single word.
Here's to all the women giving monologues and making us cry.