The 10 Best Lydia Deetz Quotes In Beetlejuice, Ranked

This article contains some references to suicide notes in the film Beetlejuice.




  • Lydia Deetz is a unique, engaging character who craves connection while establishing her sense of identity.
  • Lydia’s dark and sarcastic humor adds depth to her character, making her one of the most memorable in Burton’s projects.
  • Despite feeling utterly alone at one point, Lydia ultimately finds acceptance and forms a close bond with her ghostly friends.

Beetlejuice is one of the best films by Tim Burton to date, with one of the best characters in Lydia Deetz, the quippy gothic teenager. In 1988, Tim Burton had years of experience creating stories and weird, wacky characters, but he had only begun to get work on feature-length films as a director. However, despite Burton’s quirky style being received so well in his debut feature film, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, studios were still anxious to develop his scripts. Fortunately, he found writers who matched his style in Michael McDowell and Larry Wilson.

The story follows a young woman who feels incredibly alone with her family, and instead finds solace with the spirits that haunt her new home. Lydia Deetz, played by Winona Ryder, is a goth who enjoys horror, mystery, and generally creepy things. She struggles to connect with her parents, and she enjoys intellectual pursuits in books and films. All of this adds up to make her one of the most unique and engaging characters in all of Burton’s projects, and across Ryder’s career.

10 “My Whole Life Is A Darkroom! One Big Dark Room.”

Lydia with a cowl on in Beetlejuice

This line happens early in the film when Lydia is sitting down for the first shared meal with her family in their new home. Prior to moving in, there was an incident where the couple died in a car accident, and the quaint house had remained unoccupied and unloved for some time. While Lydia’s parents attempt to look at the positives of this new venture in their lives, Lydia is stand-offish and depressed.

When Charles, her father, suggests that they make a darkroom in the basement for her to pursue her photography hobby, Lydia dismissively remarks that her life is inherently dark. The reality is, despite her parents’ apparent quirks, they love their daughter, and they are excited about this new opportunity. Lydia, on the other hand, approaches life differently. Where they attempt to shine light, she casts the shadow of her loneliness and despair.

A composite image of Jenna Ortega looking stoic with Michael Keaton's Beetlejuice screaming in the background
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9 “They Wanted Me To Dissect A Frog, I Told Them It Was Against My Religion.”

Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice

In contrast, in the final scene of the movie, Lydia is of a much brighter disposition, settling into a new way of life with her parents, and her ghostly friends, Adam and Barbara. Lydia has found her place, and acceptance with her parents and the recently deceased couple who still live in the house. Equally, her parents and the ghosts find a way to coexist in and enjoy the home together, ensuring the home remains in trusted hands.

Lydia returns home from school and gives a bright report of her day to Adam and Barbara, detailing some of the highlights of the school day, like her biology class. Despite her lackluster results in biology, she did get an A on the math test, which leads to an epic musical finale, with the aid of Adam and Barbara’s spectoral powers. This marks a new chapter for Lydia, and a brighter future ahead than where the film began.

8 “Maybe You Can Relax In A Haunted House, But I Can’t.”

Winona Ryder in a hat as Lydia in Beetlejuice

This moment comes just after Lydia makes a discovery while exploring the new house. When attempting to access the attic, Lydia finds a small locked door which she is unable to enter. However, on the other side, both figuratively and literally, Adam and Barbara are hastily discussing what to do about the new family moving into their home. Lydia hears the whispers, sees movement and light under the door, and knocking on the other side of the door.

However, when she tries to explain the discovery to her father, she is dismissed. Charles is attempting to settle into his new office, and struggling to focus. He asks why no one can simply let him rest, and Lydia responds harshly before storming away. Lydia is frustrated, and struggles to comprehend why her family aren’t concerned about their unwanted house guests. However, the fact is that no one else can see or hear the ghosts, and they fail to recognize Lydia’s innate gift as anything more than her imagination.

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7 “I Plan To Have A Stroke From The Amount Of MSG That’s In This Food.”

Beetlejuice dinner scene

Returning to the first dinner scene, Lydia reveals her quirky and quippy personality in the above line. Lydia is sharp witted, and strongly opinionated. The family have ordered a chinese as they are tired from moving in, but Lydia is clearly not a fan of the food. Lydia is establishing her sense of identity as a teenager and this can appear as her taking strong positions on matters that she views as highly important.

Seeing her establish strong ideas and connect with them as part of her identity is a perfect way to establish where she is at in her life, and some of her values. Lydia is also not afraid to make her opinions known to her parents, and she will actively tell them when she disagrees with their opinions and choices, imbued with her dark and twisted sense of humor. All of this adds to her character and helps to illustrate clearly who she is.

6 “I’m Not Scared Of Sheets. Are You Gross Under There? Are You Night Of The Living Dead Under There? Like All Bloody Veins And Pus?”

Adam and Barbara disguised as ghosts in Beetlejuice.

As Adam and Barbara begin to take a more active role in trying to scare their new tenants out of their home, they find it more challenging than they originally hoped. This is the first moment that Lydia confronts the ghosts, and while they try to be scary, it ends up simply being funny to Lydia. Adam and Barbara are wearing bedsheets in the hopes of scaring the family away. However, Lydia is simply intrigued.

Instead of being scared, as Adam and Barbara were hoping, she presses to learn if they are gross and horrifying like in the movies. This is a great moment for the character, and helps to establish that the ghosts are nothing new or scary for her. She also shows off her classic horror movie knowledge with a reference to horror legend, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, which came out 20 years before the movie takes place.

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5 “I Am Utterly Alone.”

A picture of Lydia (Winona Ryder) from Beetlejuice

Later in the film, during the third act, Betelgeuse is released from his ancient prison. Adam and Barbara hoped to use him to help them get rid of the family, although they didn’t want any particular harm to come to them. However, Betelgeuse doesn’t hold back and creates complete and utter chaos, terrifying and upsetting young Lydia, whilst also causing havoc in the home.

Lydia is devastated by the betrayal of Adam and Barbara, after believing they were her friends. In a low moment, she sets to writing a suicide note due to her extreme sadness. Initially, she writes that she is alone. However, she crumples this note and revises her message in favor of the above. This provides even more insight into the character, and her general feelings about her life and her desire to be a part of the world of the dead, like Adam and Barbara.

4 “Beetle… Breakfast… Orange… Liquid… Beetle Juice?”

Michael Keaton as Betelgeuse in Beetlejuice

In the wake of writing her letter, Lydia sets out to find and deliver the note to those concerned. While copying the note, she sees an ominous green light coming from the attic. She goes to investigate and finds the tiny Betelgeuse atop the miniature city that Adam has built. She wants to see Barbara and Adam, but can’t find them, and Betelgeuse hopes to use her distress to be released again.

He tells Lydia that in order to help, she needs to free him by saying his name three times. However, he can’t explicitly tell her his name. He then summons apparitions and illusions to play a supernatural game of charades and reveal his name to Lydia. She quickly determines what his name is, despite how unusual it is, and he is overjoyed and excited to be freed. However, Lydia is not an idiot. She takes her time and ponders the decision to free the creepy creature, realizing that he is the same monster that terrorized her family.

Winona Ryder's Lydia Deetz with a wilting Adam and Barbara Maitland in Beetlejuice
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3 “Of Course They’re Dead. They’re Ghosts.”

Adam and Barbara in Beetlejuice

In the same conversation, Betelgeuse lies about Adam and Barbara being dead. However, Lydia already knows they are dead, and they are simply ghosts. Betelgeuese presses the issue and asserts that that are now gone, and only he can help her to get them back from the other side and communicate with them.

This line and the entire conversation, highlights how intelligent and unphased Lydia is by the supernatural and incredibly weird. She has no hang-ups about the world of the living and the dead, the separation that exists between the two, or speaking with monstrous poltergeists. Lydia craves a life that she believes is beyond her being alive. While this is evidently not the case, she struggles to understand what good her being alive is. However, both her parents and Barbara and Adam want her to have a full and happy life.

2 “Stepmother. Anyway, You Can’t Scare Her. She’s Sleeping With Prince Valium Tonight.”

Close up of Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice

Earlier in the film, Lydia reveals important details about her relationship to her stepmother, Delia. Lydia lost her mother prior to the events of the film, which helps to explain part of why she has leaned so heavily into the gothic style of mourning, and wishes to live life on the other side of the veil. However, despite her father finding love with someone new, young Lydia struggles with the changes, and moving only adds to the complications.

Her stepmother is a target of Adam and Barbara, who want the new people out of their home. However, Lydia points out that her free-spirited, artistic stepmother won’t be waking up anytime soon. There is a clever wittiness in her remarks about Delia, but also a clear sadness. In some ways, she wishes that Adam and Barbara could scare away her parents. Or at least that her life would be very different from how it is at present.

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1 “Well, I’ve Read Through That Handbook For The Recently Deceased. It Says: ‘Live People Ignore The Strange And Unusual. I, Myself, Am Strange And Unusual.”

Lydia Deetz (Winona Ryder) reading the Handbook in Beetlejuice

Finally, one of Lydia’s best lines in the movie is also a line that reveals the most. Barbara and Adam are fairly recently deceased, at least from their perspective. Being dead is new to them, and they are struggling to come to terms with what is happening. However, they have been given a helpful handbook to guide them on their journey, but they struggle to make sense of it.

That is why, when Lydia reveals she read the book and could make sense of it, it comes as a shock to them. Lydia and Barbara begin to form a close bond as they get to know one another, and this is one of the first moments that they find themselves connecting. Lydia appreciates the kindness and attention, and she feels more at home with her deceased new friends. It also highlights how Lydia walks a line between the two worlds, with her own definition of strange and unusual defining her as unique and special.

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