Kathleen Kelly Quotes in You've Got Mail (1998)


Kathleen Kelly Quotes:

  • Joe Fox: You know, sometimes I wonder...

    Kathleen Kelly: What?

    Joe Fox: Well... if I hadn't been Fox Books and you hadn't been The Shop Around the Corner, and you and I had just, well, met...

    Kathleen Kelly: I know.

    Joe Fox: Yeah. I would have asked for your number, and I wouldn't have been able to wait twenty-four hours before calling you and saying, "Hey, how about... oh, how about some coffee or, you know, drinks or dinner or a movie... for as long as we both shall live?"

    Kathleen Kelly: Joe...

    Joe Fox: And you and I would have never been at war. And the only thing we'd fight about would be which video to rent on a Saturday night.

    Kathleen Kelly: Well, who fights about that?

    Joe Fox: Well, some people. Not us.

    Kathleen Kelly: We would never.

    Joe Fox: If only.

    Kathleen Kelly: [pause] I gotta go.

    Joe Fox: Well, let me ask you something. How can you forgive this guy for standing you up and not forgive me for this tiny little thing of... of putting you out of business?

    [Kathleen starts to cry]

    Joe Fox: Oh, how I wish you would.

    Kathleen Kelly: I really have to go.

    Joe Fox: Yeah, well... you don't want to be late.

  • Kathleen Kelly: [in an email to Joe Fox] The odd thing about this form of communication is that you're more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.

  • [last lines]

    Joe Fox: Don't cry, Shopgirl. Don't cry.

    Kathleen Kelly: I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly.

  • Kathleen Kelly: What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You've got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you.

  • Kathleen Kelly: [writing to "NY152"] Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void.

  • Kathleen Kelly: You don't love me.

    [Frank shakes his head "no"]

    Kathleen Kelly: Me, either.

    Frank: You don't love me?

    [they both laugh]

    Frank: But we're so right for each other!

    Kathleen Kelly: I know! I know. Well, is there someone else? Oh! That woman on television, Sidney Ann.

    Frank: [sheepish] Uh... I mean, nothing has happened or anything, but...

    Kathleen Kelly: Ooh, Frank. Is she a Republican?

    Frank: I... can't help myself.

    [they laugh again]

    Frank: What about you? Is there someone else?

    Kathleen Kelly: No. No, but... but there's the dream of someone else.

  • Kathleen Kelly: [writing to "NY152"] People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened. My store is closing this week. I own a store, did I ever tell you that? It's a lovely store, and in a week it will be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap. Soon, it'll just be a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it's a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that's the sort of thing I'm always saying. But the truth is... I'm heartbroken. I feel as if a part of me has died, and my mother has died all over again, and no one can ever make it right.

  • Annabelle Fox: Oh, that's not my Dad. That's my *nephew*.

    Kathleen Kelly: You know, I don't really think that HE could be your nephew.

    Joe Fox: No, no, no, it's true. Annabelle is my - *aunt*. Isn't that right, Aunt Annabelle?

    Annabelle Fox: Uh-huh, and Matt is his...

    Kathleen Kelly: Oh wait, wait, wait, let me guess. Are you his uncle?

    Matthew Fox: No.

    Kathleen Kelly: His grandfather?

    [Matt giggles, as he shakes his head]

    Kathleen Kelly: His great-grandfather?

    Matthew Fox: [laughing] I'm his brother!

    Joe Fox: [answering Kathleen's very confused look] Matthew is my father's son, Annabelle is my *grandfather's* daughter. We are... an American family.

  • Joe Fox: It wasn't... personal.

    Kathleen Kelly: What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn't personal to you. But it was personal to me. It's *personal* to a lot of people. And what's so wrong with being personal, anyway?

    Joe Fox: Uh, nothing.

    Kathleen Kelly: Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.

  • Kathleen Kelly: When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.

  • Kathleen Kelly: I thought all that Fox stuff was so charming. F-O-X.

    Joe Fox: Well, I didn't *lie* about it.

    Kathleen Kelly: "Joe"? "Just call me Joe"? As if you were one of those stupid 22-year old girls with no last name? "Hi, I'm Kimberly!" "Hi, I'm Janice!" Don't they know you're supposed to have a last name? It's like they're an entire generation of cocktail waitresses.

  • Joe Fox: [on Kathleen's missing date] So who is he, I wonder? Certainly not, I gather, the world's greatest living expert on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. But somebody else entirely different. Will you be mean to him, too?

    Kathleen Kelly: No, I will not. Because the man who is coming here tonight is completely unlike you. The man who is coming here tonight is kind and funny, he has the most wonderful sense of humor...

    Joe Fox: But... he's not here.

    Kathleen Kelly: Well... if he's not here, he has a reason, because there is not a cruel or careless bone in his body. But I wouldn't expect you to understand anybody like that. You with your theme park, multi-level, homogenize-the-world mochaccino land. You've deluded yourself into thinking that you're some sort of benefactor, bringing books to the masses. But no one will ever remember you, Joe Fox. And maybe no one will remember me, either, but plenty of people remember my mother, and they think she was fine, and they think her store was something special. You are nothing but a suit!


    Joe Fox: [gets up, crestfallen] That's my cue.

  • Kathleen Kelly: Why did you stop by again? I forget.

    Joe Fox: I wanted to be your friend.

    Kathleen Kelly: Oh.

    Joe Fox: I knew it wasn't... possible. What can I say, sometimes a guy just wants the impossible.

  • Joe Fox: [writing to "Shopgirl"] Do you ever feel you've become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora's box of all the secret, hateful parts - your arrogance, your spite, your condescension - has sprung open? Someone upsets you and instead of smiling and moving on, you zing them. "Hello, it's Mr Nasty." I'm sure you have no idea what I'm talking about.

    Kathleen Kelly: [writing to "NY152"] No, I know what you mean, and I'm completely jealous! What happens to me when I'm provoked is that I get tongue-tied and my mind goes blank. Then I spend all night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I should have said. What should I have said, for example, to a bottom dweller who recently belittled my existence?

    [stops and thinks]

    Kathleen Kelly: [writing] Nothing. Even now, days later, I can't figure it out.

    Joe Fox: [writing] Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could pass all my zingers to you? And then I would never behave badly and you could behave badly all the time, and we'd both be happy. But then, on the other hand, I must warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows.


    Joe Fox: [writing] Do you think we should meet?

    Kathleen Kelly: [out loud] Meet? Oh my God...

    [slams laptop shut]

  • Kathleen Kelly: [writing to "NY152"] I've been thinking about you. Last night I went to meet you, and you weren't there. I wish I knew why. I felt so foolish. And as I waited, someone else showed up: a man who has made my professional life a misery. And an amazing thing happened. I was able, for the first time in my life to say the exact thing I wanted to say at the exact moment I wanted to say it. And, of course, afterwards, I felt terrible, just as you said I would. I was cruel, and I'm never cruel. And even though I can hardly believe what I said mattered to this man - to him, I am just a bug to be crushed - but what if it did? No matter what he's done to me, there is no excuse for my behavior. Anyway, I so wanted to talk to you. I hope you have a good reason for not being there last night. You don't seem like the kind of person that would do something like that. The odd thing about this form of communication is you're more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many... somethings. So, thanks.

  • Kathleen Kelly: I could never be with someone who has a boat.

    Joe Fox: I have a boat.

    Kathleen Kelly: Oh.

    Joe Fox: Which clinches it; we'll never be together.

  • Joe Fox: I think you'd discover a lot of things if you really knew me.

    Kathleen Kelly: If I really knew you, I know what I would find. Instead of a brain, a cash register. Instead of a heart, a bottom line.


    Joe Fox: What?

    Kathleen Kelly: I just had a breakthrough.

    Joe Fox: What is it?

    Kathleen Kelly: I have you to thank for it. For the first time in my life, when confronted with a horrible, insensitive person, I knew exactly what I wanted to say and I said it!

    Joe Fox: Well, I think you have the gift for it. That was a perfect blend of poetry and meanness.

  • Joe Fox: So what's his handle?

    Kathleen Kelly: Uh...

    Joe Fox: I'm not going to write him. Is that what you're worried about? You think I'm going to e-mail him?

    Kathleen Kelly: [beat] All right, NY152.

    Joe Fox: N-Y-one-five-two. One hundred and fifty-two. He's a hundred and fifty-two years old. He's had one hundred and fifty-two moles removed, so now he's got one hundred fifty-two pock marks on his... on his face...

    Kathleen Kelly: The number of people who think he looks like Clark Gable.

    Joe Fox: One hundred and fifty-two people who think he looks like a Clark *Bar*.

    Kathleen Kelly: [laughing] Why did I even tell you about this?

    Joe Fox: A hundred and fifty-two stitches from his nose job. The number of his souvenir shot glasses that he's collected in his travels.

    Kathleen Kelly: No! The number... the numb... his address? No! No, he would never do anything that prosaic.

  • Joe Fox: Tweaking? A project that needs "tweaking"?

    Kathleen Kelly: Yes.

    Joe Fox: T-w-e-a-k-i-n-g.

    Kathleen Kelly: -i-n-g. That's what he said.

    Joe Fox: I think he's married. Married, three kids.

  • Kathleen Kelly: Oh, Birdie, what am I going to do? What would Mom have done?

    Birdie Conrad: Well, let's ask her.

    [Birdie opens her locket, revealing a picture of Cecilia Kelly]

    Birdie Conrad: Cecilia, what should we do?

    [holds the locket to her ear]

    Kathleen Kelly: Birdie...

    Birdie Conrad: Shhh! She has no idea. But she thinks the window display looks lovely.

  • Kathleen Kelly: I love daisies.

    Joe Fox: You told me.

    Kathleen Kelly: They're so friendly. Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?

  • Kathleen Kelly: I hear nothing, not even a sound on the streets of New York. Just the beat of my own heart. I have mail - from you.

  • Kathleen Kelly: [writing to "NY152"] Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today, I saw one! It got on at 42nd and off at 59th, where, I assume, it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake, as almost all hats are.

  • Joe Fox: [in Kathleen's store, buying books] May I ask who you are?

    Kathleen Kelly: Kathleen Kelly, and this is my store. And you are?

    Joe Fox: [quickly] Joe. Just call me Joe. We'll take these books.

  • Frank Navasky: [about Birdie] She fell in love with Generalissimo Franco!

    Kathleen Kelly: No, don't say that. Really. We don't know that for sure.

    Frank Navasky: Well, who else could it have been? It was probably around 1960.

    Kathleen Kelly: Do you want some popcorn?

    Frank Navasky: I can't believe this! I mean, it's not like he was something normal, like a socialist or an anarchist or something.

    Kathleen Kelly: It happened in Spain. People do really stupid things in foreign countries.

    Frank Navasky: Absolutely. They buy leather jackets for much more than they're worth. But they don't fall in love with fascist dictators!

  • Kathleen Kelly: Wow, I keep on bumping into you.

    Joe Fox: Yeah.

    Kathleen Kelly: I hope your mango's ripe.

    Joe Fox: I think it is. Hey, you want to bump into me on, say, Saturday around lunchtime? Over there?

  • Kathleen Kelly: [in the backgroud horns are honking, tires are skidding and people are shouting in the street]


    Kathleen Kelly: Don't you just love New York in the fall?

  • Joe Fox: What happened with that guy at the cafe?

    Kathleen Kelly: Nothing.

    Joe Fox: But you're crazy about him.

    Kathleen Kelly: Yes, I am.

    Joe Fox: Well, why don't you run off with him? What are you waiting for?

    Kathleen Kelly: I don't actually know him.


    Joe Fox: Really?

    Kathleen Kelly: I only know him through the, uh... you're not going to believe this...

    Joe Fox: Oh, let me guess. Through the Internet?

    Kathleen Kelly: Yes.

    Joe Fox: Hmm. You've... got mail.

    Kathleen Kelly: Yes!

    Joe Fox: Some very powerful words.

    Kathleen Kelly: Yes...

  • Kathleen Kelly: [Kathleen is excited at work and Christina thinks she's in love] I'm in love? No! Oh, that's right, I'm in love with Frank. I practically living with Frank.

  • Kathleen Kelly: [on learning Joe's identity] God, I didn't... I didn't realize. I didn't... I didn't know...

    Joe Fox: Who you were with? "I didn't know who you were with."

    Kathleen Kelly: Excuse me?

    Joe Fox: It's from "The Godfather".


    Joe Fox: Sorry, it's from "The Godfather". It's when the... uh, when the movie producer realizes that Tom Hagen is an emissary of Vito Corleone. It's just before the horse's head ends up in the bed with all the bloody sheets, you know, wakes up and it's... AAHH! AAAHH! AAAHH! AAAHH!


    Joe Fox: Never mind.

  • Frank Navasky: Name me one thing, *one*, that we've gained from technology.

    Kathleen Kelly: Electricity.

    Frank Navasky: That's one.

    [points to Kathleen's computer]

    Frank Navasky: You think this machine is your friend, but it's not.

  • Frank Navasky: Kathleen, you are a lone reed. You are a lone...

    [sits down at his typewriter]

    Frank Navasky: [typing] "... reed, standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of commerce."

    [pulls the page out and hands it to Kathleen]

    Kathleen Kelly: I am a lone reed.

    Frank Navasky: Lone reed.

  • Matthew Fox: F-O-X.

    Kathleen Kelly: That is amazing, you can spell "fox"! Can you spell "dog"?

    Matthew Fox: F-O-X.

  • Joe Fox: [about "NY152"] Maybe he's fat. He's fat. He's a fatty.

    Kathleen Kelly: I don't care about that.

    Joe Fox: You don't care that he's so fat, he's one of these guys that has to be removed from his house by a crane? You don't care?

    Kathleen Kelly: [snickering] That is very unlikely. That is completely ridiculous.

  • Kathleen Kelly: [about "NY152"] He couldn't possibly be the Rooftop Killer!

    Christina Plutzker: Remember when you thought Frank might be the Unibomber?

    Kathleen Kelly: That was different.

  • Joe Fox: Mr. 152 Felony indictments.

    Kathleen Kelly: Mr. 152 insights into my soul.

    Joe Fox: Oh yeah. No competing with that.

  • Kathleen Kelly: [Kathleen is in a daze after receiving an email from NY152. She comes into her shop and picks up a roll of Scotch tape] Can you beat that?

    Christina Plutzker: Scotch tape? What is wrong with you?

  • Kathleen Kelly: I have something to tell you, Frank. I didn't vote.

    Frank Navasky: What?

    Kathleen Kelly: In the last mayoral election, when Rudy Giuliani was running against Ruth Messenger, I went to get a manicure and forgot to vote.

    Frank Navasky: Since when do you get manicures?

    Kathleen Kelly: Oh, I suppose you could never be with a woman who got manicures...

    Frank Navasky: Never mind. It's okay. I forgive you.

    Kathleen Kelly: [stares] You *forgive* me?

    [Kathleen gets up and leaves]

  • Kathleen Kelly: [Doorbell] Who is it?

    Joe Fox: It's Joe Fox.

    Kathleen Kelly: What are you doing here?

    Joe Fox: Uh, may I please come up?

    Kathleen Kelly: No, I don't, I don't really think that that is a good idea, because I have a, I have a terrible, cold.


    Kathleen Kelly: Can you hear that?

    Joe Fox: [laughs] Yeah.

    Kathleen Kelly: Listen, I'm sniffling, and I'm not really awake, and I'm taking echinacea and Vitamin C and sleeping practically 24 hours a day. I have a temperature! And uh, um, I think I'm contagious. So I would, I would really appreciate it if you would just go away.

  • Kathleen Kelly: [on "NY152"] What if he showed up, took one look at me, and left?

    Christina Plutzker: Not possible.

  • Miranda Margulies: We can get the Times to write something. Or that nut from the Observer.

    Kathleen Kelly: Wait, what... what nut from the Observer?

    Miranda Margulies: Frank something? The one who's so in love with his typewriter. This is just the sort of thing that would outrage him!

  • Kathleen Kelly: Is it infidelity if you're involved with somebody on email?

    Christina Plutzker: Have you had sex?

    Kathleen Kelly: No, of course not! I don't even know him.

    Christina Plutzker: No, I mean *cyber*sex.

    Kathleen Kelly: No.

    Christina Plutzker: Well, you know what? Don't do it, 'cause the minute you do, they lose all respect for you.

  • Kathleen Kelly: [to Joe] What is that? What is that? What are you doing? You're taking all the caviar? That caviar is a *garnish*!

    [Joe scoops up more caviar and dumps it on his plate]

  • Joe Fox: Is it about love?

    [voice over]

    Joe Fox: Please say no.

    Kathleen Kelly: No.

    [voice over]

    Kathleen Kelly: How sweet is that?

  • Kathleen Kelly: You poor, sad, multimillionaire. I feel so sorry for you.

  • Joe Fox: I brought you flowers.

    Kathleen Kelly: Oughhh... thank you.

  • Kathleen Kelly: I've been thinking. Frank?

    Frank: What?

    Kathleen Kelly: I've decided to go to the mattresses. Do you think it would be a gigantic conflict of interest if you wrote something about the store?

    Frank: Yes.

    Kathleen Kelly: Yes?

    Frank: [after thinking for a while] No.

    Kathleen Kelly: So you'll do it?

    Frank: Yes. Yes.

    Kathleen Kelly: Do you know what it is to go to the mattresses?

    Frank: It's from the Godfather.

  • Joe Fox: [looks at the book Kathleen is pretending to read] Pride and Prejudice.

    Kathleen Kelly: Do you mind?

    Joe Fox: I bet you read that book every year. I bet just you love that... Mr. Darcy, and your sentimental heart beats widely at the thought that he and... well, you know, whatever her name is, are truly, honestly going to end up together.

    [sits on the chair]

    Waiter at Lalo: Can I get you something?

    Kathleen Kelly: No, he's not staying.

    Joe Fox: [looking at the waiter] Mocaccino, decaf, nonfat.

    Kathleen Kelly: You are not staying!

    Joe Fox: I'll just stay here until your friend gets here.

    [looking at his watch]

    Joe Fox: Gee, is he late?

    Kathleen Kelly: The heroine of Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth Bennet. She's one of the most greatest and most complex characters ever written. Not that you would know.

    Joe Fox: As a matter of fact, I've read it.

Browse more character quotes from You've Got Mail (1998)