My Big Fat Greek Wedding

2002 film by Joel Zwick

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a 2002 romantic comedy film written by and starring Nia Vardalos. The movie is centred on Toula, a Greek-American woman (Nia Vardalos), who falls in love with a non-Greek American, Ian (played by John Corbett). The movie also examines the protagonist's relationship with her family, with their cultural heritage and value system, which is sometimes rocky but ends with mutual appreciation. Yassou, in Greek, means hello.

Love is here to stay... so is her family.

Aunt Voula

  • [after her daughter Nikki behaves rudely] Skase! Be a lady!
  • Tell me what to say. But don't tell me what to say.
  • [upon learning Ian is a vegetarian] What do you mean, he don't eat no meat? [The entire room stops, in shock. We hear plates break and there are gasps.] ...That's okay, that's okay. I make lamb.
  • [to Ian's parents] Now, you are family. Okay. All my life, I had a lump at the back of my neck, right here. Always, a lump. Then I started menopause and the lump got bigger from the "hormonees." It started to grow. So I go to the doctor, and he did the bio... the b... the... the bios... the... b... the "bobopsy." Inside the lump he found teeth and a spinal column. Yes. Inside the lump was my twin. [Ian's parents are horrified. Voula grabs a drink and toasts.] Opa!!
  • Toula. Toula! You're engaged! You're engaged-We never think this would happen for you-Never! Never. Taki, didn't we say that..?
  • [Watching Ian dance at the reception] Oh, Taki... he looks Greek.
  • [Telling Ian's Family] Look, this is what we do. The parents, they give a gift.
  • [To Gus and Maria] Woe to me, business is bad.
  • [After Nick accidentally hears his name called] No, my Nikki. She was supposed to come over and curl my hair.


  • [narrating] When I was growing up, I knew I was different. The other girls were blonde and delicate. And I was a swarthy six-year-old with sideburns.
  • [narrating] In Greek school, where I learned valuable lessons such as: "If Nick has one goat and Maria has nine, how soon will they marry?"
  • [narrating] My dad believed in two things: That Greeks should educate non-Greeks about being Greek and that any ailment from psoriasis to poison ivy could be cured with Windex.
  • [narrating] Nice Greek girls who don't find a husband work in the family restaurant. So here I am, day after day, year after year, thirty and way past my expiration date.
  • Ma, you gonna make me swallow my tongue!
  • [seeing herself in her wedding gown for the first time] I'm a snow beast!

Gus Portokalos

  • Toula, there's two kinds of people: Greeks and everybody else who wish they were Greeks.
  • [to Ian's parents] Welcome to my home. Over here is my brother, Ted, and his wife, Melissa, and their children, Anita, Diane and Nick. Over here, my brother Tommy, his wife Angie, and their children, Anita, Diane and Nick. And here, my brother George, his wife Freda, and their children, Anita, Diane and Nick. Taki, Sophie, Kari, Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick, uh, Nikki, and I am Gus.
  • [at the wedding reception] Hello. Welcome to the Portokalos family and welcome the-the Miller family. I-I was thinking last night, um, the night before my-my daughter was gonna marry, uh, I-an Miller, that, um, you know, the root of the word Miller is a Greek word. Miller come from the Greek word "milo", which is mean apple, there you go. As many of you know, our name Portokalos is come from the Greek word "portokali", which means orange. So, okay, here tonight we have, uh, apple and orange... we all different, but, in the end, we all fruit.
  • [To Maria and Toula] It is mistake to educate women but, nobody listen to me cause now we have a boyfriend in the house! Is he nice Greek boy? Oh no no Greek! No Greek xeno! Xeno with the long hair on top of his head!


  • [to young Nick] Niko! Don't play with your food! When I was your age, we didn't have food!
  • [after Athena offers to buy her some new pantyhose] No queen size, they make me look fat.
  • [to Toula] I gave you life so that you could live it.


  • Greek School Teacher: Ο Νίκος έχει ένα κατσίκι. (Nikos has one goat.)
  • Nick: I've never seen my sister this happy, Ian. [serious] If you hurt her, I'll kill you and make it look like an accident.


[First lines]
Gus: [to Toula] You better get married soon. You're starting to look... old!
Toula: [narrating] My dad has been saying that to me since I was fifteen. Because nice Greek girls are supposed to do three things in life: marry Greek boys, make Greek babies, and feed everyone until the day we die.

Gus: Now, gimme a word, any word, and I show (sow) you how the root of that word is Greek.
Young Athena: [under her breath; embarrassed] Oh, not this again.
Gus: Okay? How about arachnophobia? Arachna, that comes from the Greek word for spider, and phobia is a phobia, is mean fear. So, fear of spider, there you go.
Schoolgirl: Okay, Mr. Portokalos. How about the word kimono?
Young Athena: [whispers] Good one.
Gus: Kimono, kimono, kimono. Ha! Of course! Kimono is come from the Greek word himona, is mean winter. So, what do you wear in the wintertime to stay warm? A robe. You see: robe, kimono. There you go!

Toula: [narrating] A couple more years went by, and Dad brought his mother over from Greece to live with us. Because we weren't weird enough.
Yiayia: [spoken in Greek] Listen up, ugly Turk. You're not kidnapping me!
[Gus laughs and tries to hug her, but Yiayia suddenly hits him and runs out the door. Maria and Gus chase after her.]
Gus: Mama, please! The Greeks and the Turks friends now!
Toula: [narrating] We told my grandma the war was over, but she still slept with a knife under her pillow.

Aunt Voula: Toula, have you seen Nikki?
[Toula shakes her head. Her brother, Nick, appears from the kitchen.]
Nico: What's up, dear?
Aunt Voula: No, my Nikki. She was supposed to come over and curl my hairs.
[Maria looks through the orders.]
Maria: Nick, did you check the meat before you signed for it?
Nico: Yeah, I checked it.
Maria: It better be fresh!

Toula: [narrating] If nagging were an Olympic sport, my Aunt Voula would win a gold medal!
Aunt Voula: Taki, you couldn't wait for me?
Taki: [whispers] Sorry, sorry.
Aunt Voula: Sorry, sorry. Don't sorry me. Ugh. Look at this, a rash. Somebody gave me the mati.
Gus: Put some Windex on. [sprays Windex on her rash]
Aunt Voula: Ohh Gus, please, please!
Gus: Voula, this works! Last night, my toe was as big as my face.
Taki: [looks very interested]
Aunt Voula: [very disgusted] So why you not wait for me?
Taki: 'Cause, he wants to talk.

[Toula is staring at Ian, oblivious that Mike and Ian notice.]
Mike: Hi?
Toula: [coming back to reality] Hi. Sorry. My brain...switched off, you know. You ever have one of those days? Going along and then...rrrrrrRRRRRRRRrrrrrr. Here I am, standing here, your own private Greek statue.
[Ian laughs]
Mike: Could I, uh, get some more coffee?
Toula: Sure. [pours Ian a cup and then walks off]

Toula: Dad, I've been going through our inventory and, um, I've noticed that we've been doing a lot of unnecessary ordering. Um, so, I've been thinking that maybe we should update our system, like, get a computer. I don't know if you remember, but I got all A's in computers. But there's a lot of new stuff to learn now, so, um, if you want, I could go to college and, um, take a few courses.
Gus: Why? Why you want to leave me? [starts crying]
Toula: [upset by her father's overreaction] I'm not leaving you! Don't you want me to do something with my life?
Gus: Yes! Get married! Make babies! You look so...old!

[Maria promises Toula that she will talk to Gus about Toula wanting to attend college.]
Toula: Ma, Dad is so stubborn. What he says goes. "Ah, the man is the head of the household!"
Maria: Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.

Maria Portokalos: [arguing with Gus about Toula attending college] What is wrong with Toula going to school downtown?
Gus Portokalos: There's drugs downtown!
Maria Portokalos: What are you saying? Are you saying Toula will get involved with drugs?
Gus Portokalos: No. But somebody will say to her, "Eh, take this bag down to the bus depot," and she'll do it!
Maria Portokalos: She is not stupid! She's smart!
Gus Portokalos: I know she's smart. So what for she needs more school? She's smart enough for a girl.
Maria Portokalos: [offended] Oh! You think you're smarter than me, huh?
Gus Portokalos: [stammering] No, I... I mean... You... you know...
Maria Portokalos: [angrily] What? What you mean? I run the restaurant, I cook, I clean, I wash for you! And I raise three kids! And I teach Sunday school! You know? It's lucky for me I have you to tie my shoes!
Gus Portokalos: Maria!
[Maria leaves the room, slamming the door, and smiles at Toula.]

[Toula is getting ready for a secret date with Ian.]
Gus Portokalos: Where are you going?
Toula Portokalos: I'm taking a pottery class.
Gus Portokalos: [approvingly] Ah! The Greeks invented pottery.

Ian: What do you do for Christmas with your family?
Toula: Uh, my mom makes roast lamb.
Ian: Mmm...with mint jelly?
Toula: No.
[Long pause.]
Ian: And...?
Toula: And...
Toula: I'm Greek, right?
Ian: Right...?
Toula: So, what happens is my dad and uncles, they fight over who gets to eat the lamb brain. And then my aunt Voula forks the eyeball and chases me around with it, trying to get me to eat it, 'cause it's gonna make me smart. So, you have two cousins, I have twenty-seven first cousins. Just twenty-seven first cousins alone! And my whole family is big and loud. And everybody is in each other's lives and business. All the time! Like, you never just have a minute alone, just to think! 'Cause we're always together, just eating, eating, eating! The only other people we know are Greeks, 'cause Greeks marry Greeks to breed more Greeks, to be loud breeding Greek eaters!
Ian: Wow.

Ian: I know this great place... Zorba something... anyway, I'd love to take you there if you'd like to go.
Toula: Uh, that place, Dancing Zorba's...
Ian: Dancing Zorba's!
Toula: My family kinda owns that place.
Ian:[recognizing where he met Toula before] I remember you. You're that waitress.
Toula: Seating hostess, actually.
Ian: I remember you.
Toula: Look, I was going through a phase until now. I was Frump Girl.
Ian: I don't remember Frump Girl, but I remember you.

Gus: You sneak around all over Chicago, but you never come here to ask me, can you date my daughter?
Ian: Well, I'm sorry, I'll ask you if I can date your daughter. Sir, she's thirty years old.
Gus: I am the head of this house.
Ian: Okay, may I please date your daughter?
Gus: Noooooo!

Maria: Ian, are you hungry?
Ian: Uh no, I already ate.
Maria: Okay, I make you something.

Maria: Toula, on my wedding night, my mother, she said to me, "Greek women, we may be lambs in the kitchen, but we are tigers in the bedroom!"
Toula: Eww. Please let that be the end of your speech.

[At the Greek Orthodox wedding.]
Harriet Miller: How are we supposed to know what's going on?
Rodney Miller: It's all Greek to me.

Toula: I woke up with this huge zit this morning.
Ian: Where?
Toula: [points to spot on face] There.
Ian: I had a huge zit this morning!
Toula: Really? Where?
Ian: [points to his face] Well, it was there, but it's gone now.
Toula: Why?
Ian: I put some Windex on it.

Toula: [voiceover] Sometimes, I am afraid that it didn't happen. I'm scared that I'll wake up and still be buttering garlic bread, waiting for my life to start. But it did happen, it did! And I figured out some stuff. My family is big and loud, but they're my family. We fight and we laugh, and yes, we roast lamb on a spit in the front yard. And wherever I go, whatever I do, they will always be there. [scene change to Toula, Ian, and their young daughter in the present day] So, Ian and I moved into the house my parents bought us, a minute later I was pregnant, and six years later it was our daughter's turn to go to Greek School.
Daughter: But Mom, I wanna go to Brownies.
Toula: I know, I know, but I promise you this, you can marry whoever you want!


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