Learning from Movies: Rocky

Posted on January 31, 2011


When I was a kid, I had a teacher who loved Rocky. I think Rocky IV was the first one that I saw in a movie theater (which is sad, because it’s probably the low point for the series). Recently, thanks to on-demand cable TV, I had the opportunity to watch thirty years of Rocky movies (1976 – 2006, you can look it up) and that marathon inspired this post. I bet you didn’t know the movies contained this many lessons!


  • Women weaken legs.
  • You don’t talk dirty about your sister.

Rocky II

  • Eat lightning, crap thunder.
  • You’re the Man. You’re number one. The Champ, the best of all time. Girls love you – Men, old people love you. Young people love you. You’re the best.
  • Eye of the tiger, man.

Rocky III

  • The worst thing that can happen, that can ruin any champion, is getting civilized.
  • Just keep punching.

Rocky IV

  • Nothing is real if you don’t believe in who you are!
  • Nobody owes nobody nothin’. You owe yourself.
  • Friends don’t owe! They do because they wanna do.
  • Hit the one in the middle
  • We always have to be in the middle of the action ’cause we’re the warriors.
  • You’re gonna have to go through hell, worse than any nightmare you’ve ever dreamed. But when it’s over, I know you’ll be the one standing. You know what you have to do. Do it.
  • Going one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life.
  • All your strength, all your power, all your love. Everything you’ve got. Right now!
  • If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.

Rocky V

  • You win with heart, not with muscle.
  • If you want respect, you have to go get it.
    • But the only kind of respect that matters is self-respect.

Rocky Balboa

  • It ain’t over ’til it’s over.
  • You shouldn’t have to ask for what’s right.
  • The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!
  • Until you start believing in yourself, ya ain’t gonna have a life.
  • As long as you’ve got something left in the basement, you have to keep at it.
  • What’s so crazy about standing toe to toe with someone saying “I am”?
  • I think you try harder when you’re scared.
  • When you find something standing if front of you, something that ain’t running and ain’t backing up and is hitting on you and you’re too damn tired to breathe…you find that situation on you, that good, because that’s baptism under fire!
  • The last thing to age on somebody is their heart.

Most importantly, remember that it’s not about you, it’s about the people who love you. You can do anything once you accept that you deserve their love.