20+ Best 'Lean On Me' Quotes For Morgan Freeman Fans

Deepthi Reddy
Dec 12, 2023 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Jan 29, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Morgan Freeman in black suit

'Lean On Me' is an American film loosely based on the story of a principal, namely Joe Clark, from an inner-city high school in New Jersey.

'Lean On Me' was honored at the 1989 NAACP Image award. It won both outstanding lead actor (Morgan Freeman) and motion picture awards.

The plot revolves around how a newly hired principal of the Eastside High School named Joe Clark makes revolutionary changes to the school system, which has a bad reputation for drugs, gang violence, etc., and helps the students to pass the basics skill test.

Below we have listed some 'Lean On Me' quotes for Morgan Freeman fans. If you are interested in similar quotes, please also go through Goodfellas quotes and '80s Movies quotes.

Best Quotes From 'Lean On Me'

This movie has many quotes that are remembered even today. Listed below are some such quotes.

1."They used to call me Crazy Joe. Well now they can call me Batman!"

-Principal Joe Clark (Morgan Freeman).

2."This is my new Dean of Security, Mr. William Wright. He will be my Avenging Angel, as you teachers reclaim the halls. This is an institution of learning, ladies and gentlemen. If you can't control it, how can you teach? Discipline is not the enemy of enthusiasm! Mr. Zirella?"

-Principal Joe Clark.

3."Self-respect permeates every aspect of your existence. If you don't have respect for yourself, you're not gonna get it from anyone else."

-Principal Joe Clark.

4."I want all of you to take a good look at these people on the risers behind me. These people have been here up to five years and done absolutely nothing. These people are drug dealers and drug users. They have taken up space. They have disrupted the school. "

-Principal Joe Clark.

5."You are not inferior. Your grades may be. Your school may have been."

-Principal Joe Clark.

6."Get this disgrace to his race out of here!”

-Principal Joe Clark.

7."Now let me tell you something. The trouble of being a teenager is you don't know nothing. The problem with teenagers is you think you 're smarter than people who already been down the road you're traveling. You know what I'm tryin' to say to you, boy? DO YOU?!"

-Principal Joe Clark.

8."Thomas Sams: My father doesn 't live with us anymore, sir.

Principal Joe Clark: Oh, is that what you're doing now? Going around, feeling sorry for yourself, boy? Huh? Go on. Get outta here! You're wasting my time!"

-Principal Joe Clark and Thomas Sams.

9."I don't believe you, Sams. I don't think you changed a thing. Go ahead, jump!"

-Mr. Clark.

10."Mr. Clark: It kills your brain cells, son! It kills your brain cells! Now, when you're destroying your brain cells, you're doing the same thing as killing yourself; you're just doing it slower!

Sams:No! I don't wanna kill myself, sir!"

-Principal Joe Clark and Thomas Sams.

11."People, just hear me! The school board is meeting right now. And I promise you, we will give you what students of Eastside High deserves: a good principal!"

-Mrs. Barrett.

Principal Joe Clark 'Lean On Me' Quotes

"They used to call me Crazy Joe. Well, now they can call me Batman!", "Discipline is not the enemy of enthusiasm" and "You will be dead in a year, son" quotes from Joe Clark became very famous. Here we have listed a few 'Lean On Me' movie quotes from Joe Clark.

12."The Lord said, do whatever you have to do. And he didn't say 'Joe, be polite'."

-Mr. Clark (Morgan Freeman).

13."I don't have to do nothin' but stay black and die!"

-Principal Joe Clark.

14."They said this school was dead. Like the cemetery, it's built on. But we call our Eastside teams 'Ghosts,' don't we? And what are ghosts? Ghosts are spirits that rise from the dead. I want you to be my ghosts."

-Principal Joe Clark (Morgan Freeman).

15."Mr.Darnell: Mr.Clark, just what was that all about?

Mr.Clark: I distinctly said, 'No one move, during the singing of the school song'. Now, if you can't understand that, find yourself another place to work!

Mr. Darnell: I was picking up a piece of paper!

Mr.Clark: You're contradicting me in front of my students."

-Mr Darnell and Mr Clark.

16."You’ll be dead in a year, son. Hear what I’m saying? You’ll be dead in a year!"


17."You will sing the school song upon demand, or suffer dire consequences!"

-Principal Joe Clark.

18. "If we treat our students like animals, that's exactly how they'll behave!"

-Morgan Freeman (Principal Joe Clark).

19."Hey, son... put something in your head, not on it!"

-Morgan Freeman (Principal Joe Clark).

20."Alright, Sams, I'll tell ya what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna go back on my own word, just this once, and let you back into my school... "


21."But you understand this, boy: You're not gonna get a moment's rest. I' m gonna be on your case every minute. You mess up just once and your outta here. Now you understand me? Do you understand me?"


Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'Lean On Me' Quotes then why not take a look at [Back To The Future quotes] or ['90s Movies quotes].

Main image credit: s_bukley /Shutterstock

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

Deepthi Reddy picture

Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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