“Emotions can be sparked with few words. That`s the power of dialogue.” – Sol Stein
While this statement holds true for most accounts, dialogues/quotes in BL dramas that actually strike a chord are few & far between. Words compelling enough to convey unspoken feelings are obviously monumental and also memorable. In today’s feature, our authors will be sharing their favorite BL Quotes/Dialogues- the ones that paved the way for powerful interpretations!
A person’s favorite quote/line of dialogue depends wholly on the viewer’s preference, whether romantic, inspirational, or blunt. There’s no right or wrong favorite choice. Words are power. Once they enter the world, written or spoken, they hold weight to the person they touch. My favorite BL lines are generally ones that make me think. Sometimes they make me cry. Other times they make me smile. But all of them have moved me.
“So you can like girls, but I can’t like boys? Is your love bigger than the love I give? Tell me, what’s the difference between your love and mine? Help me go to hell then.”
~ Your Name Engraved Herein, Taiwan
In a dark world full of prejudice, racism, and division, it would be nice if the one thing that brought us all together was love. Instead, there is as much hate toward love as there is toward people and ideas. Love and hate are both four-letter words, and it’s sobering to realize that those four letters hold enough power to destroy each other. As much as we’d all like to believe love can defeat anything, sometimes hate wins. Knowing this makes Jia-Han’s response to Father Oliver in the Taiwanese film Your Name Engraved Herein much more gut-punching. No person’s love is more significant than another. And if the only place where people’s love can be held equal is hell, then let it be so.
“You think you’re sending out a certain frequency no one hears like that whale. But I hear you.”
~180 Degree Longitude Passes Through us, Thailand
Although the Thai drama 180 Degree Longitude Passes Through Us is currently airing, most of its dialogue and narration have already carved a place for itself in my heart, and it has little to do with romance. The dialogue above speaks clearly about the hidden part of people that may not be visible to most but are apparent to others. There are a lot of hidden truths and secrets in 180 Degree Longitude, and even though the script is centered around three people in a format very similar to a live stage production, the lines and dialogue hold universal weight. The world is full of people with regrets, people who live two lives–a public life and a private one. I relate to Inthawut and his need to remain separate from society and his past, but I hope the people I care about most hear the frequency I put out, even if I also hope no one hears it. Silent cries for help are still cries for help.
“Whoever someone falls in love with concerns only the owner of those feelings. Live the way you like.”
Sometimes we just need someone to say it’s okay to love who we want to love. It’s not that we need permission to do so. It’s simply nice to have someone validate how we feel, even if we’ve already validated it for ourselves. The lonelier a person is, the more they have been pushed out of their families or society based on their choices, the greedier they become to hear words like the line Shun hears in the Japanese film HIS. When life doesn’t offer acceptance, hearing it is much more meaningful. That goes for anything, not just same-sex love.
“It’s okay to say you are not okay sometimes. We’re not machines. We can’t always be okay. Nor do we have to. Nothing bad will happen when you say you are not okay.”
“If it’s someone who truly cares for you, that person will like you and respect you regardless of what you do.”
“Live the way you like. You are just you. There’s no need to complicate it.”
~Light on Me, South Korea
There are a lot of lines/dialogue that left an impression on me in the Korean BL Light On Me, and all of them were spoken to the character, Da On. Although much of it centers on his confusion over his new feelings for a fellow male classmate, Tae Kyung, it speaks universally. In a world full of expectations, it’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to be yourself. The people that truly matter, the ones that see you, will respect and care about the person you are, even if it’s only one person. It’s better to be seen by that person than fully hidden. As humans, we tend to put a lot of unnecessary pressure on ourselves, mainly due to authority figures in our lives. There comes the point where, no matter how much a person respects someone else, they must start thinking about themselves. It isn’t selfish to step beyond the confines of someone else’s opinions to discover your own. While walking your own path, you may find you agree with that person’s views, or you may find you don’t. Either way, you’ve walked your path and taken something away from it.
~Not Me, Thailand
Dialogue doesn’t always have to be wordy to be powerful. Such is the case in the Thai BL Not Me when protesters lifted a pride flag and yelled, “Marriage Equality!”
One yell. Two words. A thousand sentiments.
History often teaches us that the most defining words come from long speeches that people recite for years afterward. But, the truth is, even one word is enough to make change happen. The most important thing is being heard. Martin Luther King Jr once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” In Not Me, the protestors were not silent. In real life, those protesting for change are not silent, and they don’t need long-winded speeches to get their point across. Sometimes all it takes is a flag and two shouted words.
“In this world, you can be afraid of anything. I will always be beside you, but you cannot be afraid of me.”
~Until We Meet Again, Thailand
Although the moment in which this dialogue is spoken in the Thai BL Until We Meet Again is essentially a romantic one, the weight of Win’s words goes well beyond the screen. The world is full of fear. We’re all afraid of something, whether we’d like to admit it or not. From the overthinkers who can’t sleep at night to the seemingly overconfident, something makes us afraid. And it’s okay to fear it. Some fears can be overcome, some can’t, but being afraid shouldn’t be something we run from, are belittled for, or hate ourselves for. In Until We Meet Again, Win validates Team’s fears while also offering him a place to feel safe. And again, that’s such a relatable piece of dialogue. Everyone has something that makes them feel safe, whether it be a person, a place, or a thing. Win’s words personify that safe place for all of us. Writers don’t always write things thinking something will be powerful. We write them because it feels right for us or the characters speaking through us. And yet, even words meant to create a romantic, impressionable atmosphere can communicate beyond the romance it was meant for.
The red bra scene
~I Told Sunset About You, Thailand
I know I’m cheating by adding a scene rather than a line of dialogue to my list of favorite BL lines, but the red bra scene in the Thai BL I Told Sunset About You is a perfect example of how powerful unspoken dialogue can be. Gestures can be as powerful as spoken words. For the deaf and hearing impaired, gestures ARE words. They depend on them to communicate. For those who can hear, we often forget that action can be as loud as dialogue. Dancers, for example, tell an entire story using the movements of their bodies. In I Told Sunset About You, Oh Aew didn’t need words to express the confusion and pain he felt because of his gender dysphoria.
I cried—a lot.
At sixteen, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and later bulimia nervosa. For most of my life, I’ve been dissatisfied with myself and mirrors, yet oddly drawn to them. American poet Sylvia Plath once personified a mirror. In a poem, she wrote, “A woman bends over me, searching my reaches for what she really is.” That line has stayed with me. During the red bra scene when Oh Aew faces the mirror, Sylvia Plath’s words come instantly to mind because, at that moment, Oh Aew was looking for himself inside that mirror.
There is always that one line or phrase that resonates with you and you remember them even after the BL drama/movie is over. Those phrases gave the whole series an undeniable feeling and overhaul our understanding of the theme being portrayed. Some made me cry, some made me laugh, while others made me feel like the world was a great place.
Love by Chance
When Pete says to Ae-” I like you, Ae. What do I do now?”
It was so profound as Pete confesses his feelings to Ae with the understanding that Ae may not feel the same. It doesn’t matter if Ae didn’t return those feelings, Pete just wanted Ae to know his feelings.
Also, when Pete comes out to his mother and utters the line.
“If I did something wrong, would you be mad at me? Before telling you, can I ask you for something? Could you .. please don’t hate me. You can be
angry at me, but please don’t hate me.”
This was another profound statement in this drama. Pete wanted to let his mother know he was gay, but was afraid she would hate him. I as a Mom understand what he was feeling and thinking, also as a Mom I could never hate my children for being who they are. I cried during this scene and I still, to this day cry!
Love by Chance 2
When Can says to Tin “Why do you like me? I am ugly, not rich and I am stupid.”
Tin smiles and replies, “I know all this and if it mattered, I would not have pursued you in the first place.”
This is a phrase that always makes me smile as Tin is letting Can know he loves him no matter what. Also, every time someone tries to hurt Tin; Can defends him, no questions asked. Tin would say thank you for believing in him. Can never understands but his belief in Tim is really heartwarming!
TharnType Season One
When Type says to Tharn- “Don’t make me give up everything. Everything I do, I do it for you Tharn.”
This sentence made me cry the hardest I have ever cried in a BL Drama. Type was trying so hard to break it off with Tharn, to make this seem real. You could tell Type’s heart was breaking as well. In that one scene, with those words; Type became the most mature person I had seen in a BL drama. He realized what Tharn meant to him.
When Champ says to Techno, “Let’s go I will eat you” and Techno looks shocked. I mean there is a difference between the above line and saying “Let’s go I will eat WITH you”. I laughed so hard I had tears. Techno, being unsure whether his friend was serious or not, was the cutest and most hilarious scene ever.
Until We Meet Again
When Team said to Win- “I will not run, just make sure you can catch me.”
I was so happy when he said this – this was Team’s way of letting Win know he liked him and he better not be playing with his feelings.
There were no words said but the thumbs up that Ming gave Wayo, after P’Pha offered Wayo a ride back home, was the cutest, dorkiest ever. This shows how much Ming supports his friend in his pursuit of love.
These are some of my most favorite lines as they all have profound meaning behind them. All BLs have that one line or phrase that makes us smile when we think of it. What are some of yours?
We will be back next week with the second edition of this feature. So till then, keep watching this space as we bring you more updates from the Asian BL World!
One thought on “Favorite BL Quote/Dialogue”
2GETHER / STILL 2GETHER
“Keep looking at me like that and I’ll [blank] you till you drop.”
As the series progresses, the most famous phrase in BL history takes a different tone when the word “kiss” is replaced by a different one, signifying a change in Wat & Tine’s relationship from a crush and yearning between two teenagers to a more sexual and intimate one between two young men.