40 Quotes from “The Hunger Games” that didn’t make the film

Suzanne Collins‘s inspiring, gripping yet heartbreaking trilogy, The Hunger Games, is one of the most popular Dystopian Future novels, selling over 65 million copies worldwide. And the franchise became even more popular when the film adaptions were released, grossing over $275 million worldwide.

However, book fans were devastated that some of their favourite scenes, lines and conversations didn’t make the ever popular film adaption.

Here are 40 of the most popular and beautiful quotes from the first novel, The Hunger Games, that never made it to the script.


  1. “Promise you’ll wear it into the arena, Katniss?” she asks. “Promise?”
    – Madge Undersee

I’m going to start with this one because it was one of the things that annoyed me the most with the film adaption: where the mockingjay pin came from. Moviegoers will see that Katniss found the pin in the black market, The Hob. But, book fans will know that the Madge, Katniss’s friend that never made an appearance in any of the films, came to see Katniss before she entered the games and made her promise to wear it in the arena.

2. “You know your mentor is your lifeline to the world in these Games. The one who advises you, lines up your sponsors, and dictates the presentation of any gifts. Haymitch can well be the difference between your life and your death!”
– Effie Trinket

This is the first time you see, as a reader, how important mentors are for tributes, and how important Haymitch is for Peeta and Katniss. When you’re first impressions of him are that he’s a drunken mess, we begin to feel sorry for them – how can they really stand a chance?

3. “Did I actually get a pair of fighters this year?”
– Haymitch Abernathy

I loved this particular scene: the moment Haymitch realises that both Peeta and Katniss aren’t just normal tributes. They want to win. They want to believe they had a chance. They didn’t give up before they even went in.

4. “Yes, this is my first year in the Games,” says Cinna.
“So they gave you District Twelve,” I say. Newcomers generally end up with us, the least desirable district.
“I asked for District Twelve,” he says without further explanation.
– Cinna and Katniss

Truthfully, I was disappointed when this conversation never made the film. Cinna isn’t a typical stylist – he cares. And he wanted to make a difference. He chose the poorest district, with the least chance, and best tribute. Isn’t that something moviegoers should know about him?

5. I look up and find Cinna’s eyes trained on mine. “How despicable we must seem to you,” he says.

Cinna knows Katniss hates the Capitol and Capitol people; it’s no secret. But I think Cinna sort of hates them to, so it’s like he can almost relate to Katniss in saying this. He understands to a certain degree.


6. “I’m sure they didn’t notice anything but you. You should wear flames more often,” he says. “They suit you.”
– Peeta Mellark

This is the first real moment we see between Katniss and Peeta. In the film, we see the chariot ride, but we miss the first real thing between them. We find out later that Peeta meant everything in the Games and this is the first example of it. He’s paying her a genuine compliment – even if she doesn’t believe it, it’s there. Moviegoers only see the fake affection in the cave; this is the real thing.

7. “But I said, and this was very clever of me, I said, ‘Well, if you put enough pressure on coal it turns to pearls!’” Effie beams at us so brilliantly that we have no choice but to respond enthusiastically to her cleverness, even though it’s wrong.

This may seem insignificant, but it shows so much more than you’d first think: it shows the genuine obliviousness and lack of intelligence of the capitol people. The whole thing is incorrect. But at the same time she’s presenting them as beauty that rose out of pain. It’s also referred to again in the second novel, so it remains important to me.

8. “If he’s going to help you, he has to know what you’re capable of. Don’t underrate yourself.”
– Peeta Mellark

Peeta convincing Katniss to share her skills with Haymitch. Now, why would a fellow tribute do that, knowing he’s going up against her? Wouldn’t he not want Haymitch to help her if it meant giving him an advantage? Unless, of course, he was in love with her.

9. “But only because someone helped me.” Peeta’s eyes flicker down to the roll in my hands, and I know he remembers that day, too.
– Katniss and Peeta

This is the first time the moment with the bread is actually mentioned out loud in the book. You can see it effected him as much as her with the way he looks at the bread with the sheer mention of it.


10. “She has no idea. The effect she can have.”
– Peeta Mellark

Peeta says this out loud to Haymitch while Katniss is standing there and at the time she has no idea what he means or what he’s talking about. She has no idea the effect she has on people. The power she has. Peeta knows about it this early, before they’ve even entered the first Games. Audiences miss that in the movie, and they miss how much Peeta knows her.

11. “It’s their job to pay attention to you. And just because you come from District Twelve is no excuse to ignore you.”
– Effie Trinket

We see Effie as a Capitol citizen through the whole of The Hunger Games, but she does have her moments where she recognises that Katniss and Peeta are real people, too, not just tributes for entertainment. This is one of those moments and people miss it.

12. “They’re already taking my future! They can’t have the things that mattered to me in the past!”
– Katniss Everdeen

In this part of the book Haymitch asks her to open up to the cameras in her on screen interview with Caesar Flickerman, and she openly shows how little she wants to give the Capitol because of how much they’re already taking from her.

13. “I’m very hard to catch,” she says in a tremulous voice. “And if they can’t catch me, they can’t kill me. So don’t count me out.”
– Rue

We don’t know much of Rue, other than her name is a small flower that grows in a meadow and she followed Katniss and Peeta around during training. This is what she tells audiences in her interview with Caesar; it’s the first time we get a glimpse of how strong she is and how much of a fighter she is. She reminds people that she has skills the others don’t.

14. “If he did, it was all probably just part of his act. You know, to make people think he’s in love with me.”
“Oh,” says Rue thoughtfully. “I didn’t think that was an act.”
– Katniss and Rue

Personally, I loved this conversation between these two characters. In the film, we see Rue as a small girl in need of protection. In the book, we see her strong. And here, where Katniss is oblivious to Peeta’s feelings, Rue definitely sees it. She’s clever, and like all younger children, can tell what people really feel. Older people question and doubt others even of what they feel shows across their face. Children are honest with what they see and Rue points this out to Katniss. I was gutted when this never made the movie script.

15. I unclasp the pin and hold it out to her. “Here, you take it. It has more meaning for you than me.”
“Oh, no,” says Rue, closing my fingers back over the pin. “I like to see it on you. That’s how I decided I could trust you.”
– Katniss and Rue

Katniss offers her mockingjay pin to Rue, but she refuses to take it. Rue loves music, she knows it and lives by it. Where she doesn’t trust people, she trusts the mockingjays song. Katniss’s pin has more meaning than any reader could have realised at this point. Maybe Collins is foreshadowing the importance of the mockingjay pin here? Who knows. Well, moviegoers don’t have a clue, at least.


16. Rue, who when you ask her what she loves most in the world, replies, of all things, “Music.”

Katniss sees music as the most pointless thing, placing their importance with “ribbons”. Where she she finds music unnecessary, Rue finds it important. This conversation shows the characters bonding, we see only serious conversations of the Games. It also shows Rues character, only making her more loveable.

17. “You here to finish me off, sweetheart?”
– Peeta Mellark

Once Katniss finds Peeta after the announcement that that two tributes from the same district can win, he’s in some state and looks a mess after Cato cuts him with a sword. Cracking a joke, Peeta asks Katniss if she’s come to finish him off, lightening the situation. This is Peeta at his finest and moviegoers miss that.


18. “Remember, we’re madly in love, so it’s all right to kiss me any time you feel like it.”
– Peeta Mellark

I, personally, love this line. Peeta’s genuinely chancing his luck at his first kiss with Katniss whilst simultaneously reminding her about the act. He’s covered in muck, puss, and blood whilst asking Katniss for a kiss. The whole thing is both ridiculous and hilarious – typical Peeta. Another line I was gutted to see cut.

19. “I always knew you were his favourite,” says Peeta.
“Please, he can’t stand being in the same room with me,” I say.
“Because you’re just alike,” mutters Peeta.

Peeta and Katniss talk about Haymitch and his relationship with Katniss. We see how similar the two are through Catching Fire and Mockingjay once we have have time to see their relationship evolve, but we know he cares for Katniss a lot, even though they fight and argue most of the time. Peeta’s the first character ti point out the similarities between them to her.

20. “I know what blood poisoning is, Katniss,” says Peeta. “Even if my mother isn’t a healer.”

Peeta says this particular line when Katniss is trying to heal him and discovers he had blood poisoning (another thing cut from the film). She tries to tell him he’ll be okay, but he knows what blood poisoning is. It may seem insignificant, but it plays a part in Mockingjay.

21. “Well, I knew that goat would be a little gold mine,” I say.
“Yes, of course I was referring to that, not the lasting joy you gave the sister you love so much you took her place in the reaping,” says Peeta drily.

Here, Peeta gets Katniss to open up a bit to him for the first time, and she tells him the story of the time she bought a goat for her sister, Prim. She tries to play it off like she knew the value of the goat in an attempt not to seem as vulnerable as she is when she talks about Prim. But Peeta knows this isn’t the case: she loves her sister, enough to volunteer for her. Peeta allows her to be vulnerable here, especially when it’s the first she’s opened up to him. Movie audiences miss this genuine interaction and connection with these two characters in the cave.

22. “What am I supposed to do? Sit here and watch you die?” I say. He must know that’s not an option. That the audience would hate me. And frankly, I would hate myself, too, if I didn’t even try.

In this scene, we can see that Katniss can’t just let Peeta die. She cares too much about him, it’s now no longer about the audience, even if she doesn’t completely see this yet.

23. “You just let me take care of you for a while.”
– Peeta Mellark

We see Katniss take care of Peeta through the whole film, but what we don’t see is the moments where Peeta takes care of Katniss.

24. “The bread? What? From when we were kids?” he says. “I think we can let that go. I mean, you just brought me back from the dead.”
– Peeta Mellark

Katniss tells Peeta that she feels like she owes him because he saved her by giving her the bread. It’s the first the two spoke about the moment out loud in conversation. Moviegoers have no idea this conversation even existed.

25. “Haymitch said you would take a lot of convincing.”
“Haymitch?” I ask. “What’s he got to do with it?”
– Peeta and Katniss

I would have been very curious to see how this would have played on-screen. Here, Peeta is referring to a conversation he had privately with Haymitch. As a reader, you can see how Peeta implies that Haymitch has told him Katniss would take a lot of convincing to believe his true feelings for her. But she doesn’t believe or know any of it is real. It’s the first we see that Peeta isn’t faking any of it.


26. In stark contrast to two nights ago, when I felt Peeta was a million miles away, I’m struck by his immediacy now. As we settle in, he pulls my head down to use his arm as a pillow; the other rests protectively over me even when he goes to sleep. No one has held me like this in such a long time. Since my father died and I stopped trusting my mother, no one else’s arms have made me feel this safe.

Not as much speech that I wish we heard in the film, but a scene I would have love to watch. Watching Peeta protectively hold Katniss as they sleep and how much it genuinely effects her is something I wish the film portrayed more.

27. “He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner,’” Peeta says.

Moviegoers have no idea that Peeta’s father was in love with Katniss’s mother. I wish this would have been added to the film.

28. “Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.”
“Without success,” I add.
“Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck.”
– Peeta and Katniss

We miss all these beautiful phrases from Peeta. I wish we saw more of these in the film: I would have fallen for him there and then if I were Katniss.

29. “I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.”

This is just another one of those moments where we see how madly in love Peeta is with Katniss. Another moment where we see how much of it was real.

30. “Well, I don’t have much competition here,” he says. I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can’t…I swallow hard and get the words out.
“You don’t have much competition anywhere.”
– Peeta and Katniss

I loved this line. One of my favourites in the whole trilogy. I was gutted when it never made the film. It was one of the most beautiful moments between the two characters, one of the moments where Katniss herself wasn’t sure if it was real or for the cameras.


31. “No, I noticed just about every girl, but none of them made a lasting impression but you.”
– Peeta Mellark

Maybe this is my romantic side coming out now, but I wish we saw more of these sweet lines from Peeta in the film.

32. “If he knows we’re here, he knows. But he also knows there’s two of us and probably assumes we were hunting Foxface. That means you’re recovered. And the fire means we’re not hiding, we’re inviting him here. Would you show up?” I ask.
– Katniss Everdeen

Katniss is just as, if not more, clever and cunning as every other tribute. Here, we see a fine example of that. I wish we saw this in the movie more when she talks about these things out loud.

33. “You’re not leaving me here alone,” I say. Because if he dies, I’ll never go home, not really. I’ll spend the rest of my life in this arena, trying to think my way out.
– Katniss Everdeen

Here, we see how afraid Katniss is to be without Peeta, how scared she is to lose him. If only we see how much so in the film.

34. My fingers are still gripping the back of his jacket so tightly that when they take him away it tears, leaving me with a fistful of black fabric.
– Katniss Everdeen

Not speech again, but a scene I would have loved to watch in the film. Something major I feel has been missed out.

35. “Where’s Portia? Is she with Peeta? He is all right, isn’t he? I mean, he’s alive?” I blurt out.
– Katniss Everdeen

As soon as Katniss wakes up, the first thing she asks is if Peeta is okay. She cares. A lot. Only, we don’t really see the extent of how much she cares in the films.

36. “Your only defence can be you were so madly in love you weren’t responsible for your actions.” Haymitch pulls back and adjusts my hairband. “Got it, sweetheart?” He could be talking about anything now.
“Got it,” I say. “Did you tell Peeta this?”
“Don’t have to,” says Haymitch. “He’s already there.”
– Haymitch and Katniss

Haymitch is telling Katniss to continue the act with Peeta, but we see Haymitch basically tel Katniss he doesn’t need to tel Peeta to continue the act because he’s not acting. We miss this in the film, and I feel it’s one of the most important  conversations in the whole book.

37. Now I see what the audience saw: how he misled the Careers about me, stayed awake the entire night under the tracker-jacker tree, fought Cato to let me escape and even while he lay in that mud bank, whispered my name in his sleep.
– Katniss Everdeen

Whilst watching the playback of certain scenes in the Games we see Peeta protecting Katniss through the whole thing, even when Katniss never realised so. I wish in the movie we saw that Peeta protected Katniss as much as she protected him.

38. “So now that you’ve got me, what are you going to do with me?”
I turn to him. “Put you somewhere you can’t get hurt.”
– Peeta and Katniss

Another beautiful moment of Katniss protecting Peeta that we don’t get to see in the film.

38. “It was all for the Games,” Peeta says. “How you acted.”
“Not all of it,” I say, tightly holding on to my flowers.
“Then how much? No, forget that. I guess the real question is, what’s going to be left when we get home?” he says.
“I don’t know. The closer we get to District Twelve, the more confused I get,” I say. He waits, for further explanation, but none’s forthcoming.
“Well, let me know when you work it out,” he says, and the pain in his voice is palpable.

The moment where Peeta realises that everything was part of the act – that it wasn’t real. Almost the most important moment in the whole book and the film didn’t show what really happened.

“One more time? For the audience?” he says. His voice isn’t angry. It’s hollow, which is worse. Already the boy with the bread is slipping away from me.
– Peeta and Katniss

The final moment in the book and between these two characters, it would have been much better to see this moment in the film, to have the perfect ending.


To see 35 quotes from Catching Fire that were missing from the film, click here.

To see 45 Mockingjay quotes missing from both films, click here.


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