As Rocky Balboa’s manager for the first three Rocky films, Mickey Goldmill played a huge part in the success of Rocky’s fighting career. While initially hesitant about his attitude towards the sport, Mickey always knew that Rocky had the fighting ability to make it to the top.
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Each of these characters had an unorthodox approach to training, but it was Mickey’s motivational one-liners and not-so-subtle doses of reality that not only helped to make Rocky a champion, but also provided some much-welcomed humor throughout the film franchise. In honor of the legendary trainer, here are 10 of the funniest quotes from Mickey.
10 “You’re gonna eat lightnin’ and you’re gonna crap thunder!”
In Rocky II, Apollo wants a rematch with Rocky to prove all his critics wrong, after only holding on to his World Heavyweight title by virtue of a split decision. While Rocky and Mickey begin training, it’s clear that Rocky is lacking motivation. In a long-winded motivational speech, Mickey drops this hilarious quote, which undeniably became one of the most iconic quotes from the entire film franchise.
9 “Women weaken legs”
While Mickey is training Rocky on his footwork at the gym in the first movie, two teenage girls approach Rocky to ask for an autograph. Mickey quickly drives them away, demanding that they move their “little chicken asses out.”
As the girls disgruntledly walk away, Mickey turns to Rocky and tells him, “You lay off that pet shop dame,” (referring to Adrian, of course) following up with one of the most hilarious lines of the movie, “Women weaken legs.”
The conversation doesn’t go much further than that, but Mickey made his point loud and clear. Obviously, Rocky completely dismisses this advice and continues to pursue her.
8 “Go for the ribs, don’t let that bastard breathe”
After completing his first round in the ring with Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed, Rocky is beginning to realize the gravity of the task ahead of him. But as ever, Mickey is by Rocky’s side to impart some wisdom and share clear fighting strategies. He then drops this amusing quote which Rocky fully takes on board for the next round of the fight.
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7 “Your nose is broken… Ah, it’s an improvement”
After bragging to Adrian about how he’s never broken his nose from fighting, “Look at this face, 64 fights and my nose ain’t never been broken,” karma comes back to bite Rocky in the ass.
During his first fight with Creed, Rocky’s nose gets broken. In the midst of the fight, Mickey points this injury out to him, to which Rocky responds, “How does it look?” Mickey wittingly (or honestly) responds, “Ah, it’s an improvement.”
6 “You know what you are? A tomato”
Mickey wasn’t a fan of Rocky’s from the get-go, and needless to say, he took some time to warm up to him. He saw that Rocky was wasting his life working for a loan shark, barely reaching his boxing potential.
In one instance when Rocky finds out that his locker at the gym has been given to another fighter, he confronts Mickey about it, to which Mickey responds with this hilarious quote, calling Rocky a tomato. He followed this up with, “Yeah, let’s face it and I run a business here, not a god-damn soup kitchen.”
5 “You’re wearing your anatomy out for charity”
In Rocky III, Mickey is baffled as to why Rocky has agreed to take on a match with pro wrestler Thunderlips. This quote is the hilarious yet serious response from Mickey when Rocky declares that it’s all for the benefit of charity.
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4 “What the hell is that? I trained you to be a fighter, not a billboard!”
It would appear that Mickey lacks any respect for charity work or commercial deals, particularly when it distracts from his sport. When Mickey sees Paulie’s workplace displayed on Rocky’s boxing robe, he shares his disgust with this quote, to which Rocky responds with a reminder that he’s just doing his friend a favor.
As beloved as Mickey is in the film franchise, it could be assumed that he doesn’t have many friends in his life, which would explain his lack of understanding for a kind gesture such as this.
3 “You got heart, but you fight like a god-damn ape”
The first Rocky installment undoubtedly brought some of Mickey’s strongest quotes, particularly because of how honest he is about Rocky’s flaws. Unlike the more positive words of motivation that followed in the later movies, Mickey clearly felt the need to hit Rocky with some hard truths early on – much to the viewer’s entertainment.
This quote is one such example of this, where he’s trying to explain to Rocky that while he has the potential, he seriously lacks the skills and training needed to last the rounds with his opponent, Apollo Creed.
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2 “I want you to try to chase this little chicken”
Mickey was known for pulling out some pretty obscure old-school training methods, and in Rocky II, Rocky is completely unenthused by Mickey’s suggestion to chase a live chicken, stating that he’d rather eat it than chase it. Mickey argues that this will do wonders for his footwork, “You catch this thing, you can catch greased lightning.”
1 “Get up you son of a b*tch, ’cause Mickey loves ya”
OK, so this wasn’t necessarily a laugh-out-loud sort of moment in Rocky V, but it was extremely heart-warming and the perfect scene to end that part of the franchise with.
The quote itself sits within a flashback scene that Rocky has of him and Mickey in the ring together, exemplifying how blunt yet loving the trainer was, despite his gravelly voice and tough exterior.
Fans of the movies know that Mickey dies in the third film, so including a scene with him in the fifth installment was a special addition to this chapter, paying homage to the impact his character had on Rocky’s entire fighting journey.
NEXT: Rocky: 10 Things That Haven’t Aged Well
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