The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Sam, one of the friends Charlie makes in high school, quickly becomes one of his favorite people, as well as the first girl he falls in love with. Sam is a few years older than Charlie, and she is kind, warm, and open. She and her stepbrother Patrick invite Charlie into their friend group and bond over similar interests in music. Like Charlie, she was molested as a child, and she deals with it by confronting her memories and deciding to develop a healthy relationship with herself and not accept less than what she deserves. Her ability to deal with her trauma head-on sets a positive example for Charlie, and he also learns from her about healthy forms of intimacy between consenting peers, as she demonstrates for him how to move on from bad relationships and how to learn to participate in meaningful ones. She kisses Charlie, telling him she wants his first kiss to be with someone who loves him. At the end of the novel, she leaves for college with a mutually loving but vaguely defined relationship with Charlie.

Sam Quotes in The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The The Perks of Being a Wallflower quotes below are all either spoken by Sam or refer to Sam. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Gallery Books edition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower published in 1999.
Part 1 Quotes

I feel infinite.

Related Characters: Charlie (speaker), Sam, Patrick
Related Symbols: Music
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 2  Quotes

It was an old 45 record that had the Beatles’ song “Something.” I used to listen to it all the time when I was little and thinking about grown-up things. I would go to my bedroom window and stare at my reflection in the glass and the trees behind it and just listen to the song for hours. I decided then that when I met someone I thought was as beautiful as the song, I should give it to that person. And I didn’t mean beautiful on the outside. I meant beautiful in all ways. So, I was giving it to Sam.

Related Characters: Charlie (speaker), Aunt Helen, Sam
Related Symbols: Music
Page Number: 68-69
Explanation and Analysis:
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“I want to make sure that the first person you kiss loves you. Okay?”

“Okay.”

Related Characters: Charlie (speaker), Sam (speaker)
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 3 Quotes

I don't know what it was, and I know we didn't really accomplish

anything, but it felt great to sit there and talk about our place in things. It was like when Bill told me to “participate.” I went to the homecoming dance like I told you before, but this was much more fun. It was especially fun to think that people all over the world were having similar conversations in their equivalent of the Big Boy.

Related Characters: Charlie (speaker), Sam, Patrick, Mary Elizabeth
Related Symbols: Books
Page Number: 105-106
Explanation and Analysis:
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I could say that it was the wine or the beer that I chugged. I could also say that I had forgotten the time Mary Elizabeth asked me if I thought she was pretty. But I would be lying. The truth is that when Patrick dared me, I knew that if I kissed Mary Elizabeth, I would be lying to everyone. Including Sam. Including Patrick. Including Mary Elizabeth. And I just couldn't do it anymore. Even if it was part of a game.

Related Characters: Charlie (speaker), Sam, Patrick, Mary Elizabeth
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 4 Quotes

“Charlie, don't you get it? I can't feel that. It's sweet and everything, but it's like you're not even there sometimes. It's great that you can listen and be a shoulder to someone, but what about when someone doesn't need a shoulder. What if they need the arms or something like that? You can't just sit there and put everybody's lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can't. You have to do things.”

Related Characters: Sam (speaker), Charlie
Page Number: 200
Explanation and Analysis:
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“I can't do that anymore. I'm sorry,” I said.

“It's okay, Charlie. Just go to sleep,” Sam said.

But I wasn't talking to Sam anymore. I was talking to someone else. When I fell asleep, I had this dream. My brother and my sister and I were watching television with my Aunt Helen. Everything was in slow motion. The sound was thick. And she was doing what Sam was doing. That's when I woke up. And I didn't know what the hell was going on.

Related Characters: Charlie (speaker), Sam (speaker), Aunt Helen
Page Number: 203-204
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sam Character Timeline in The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The timeline below shows where the character Sam appears in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...do with Michael. At the game, Charlie sits next to Patrick, who introduces him to Sam, another senior, who Charlie says has a pretty smile and green eyes. They invite him... (full context)
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...discovers what masturbation is and explains it to the reader, “just in case.” He tells Sam that he dreamed about her and cries because he feels so bad about it. She... (full context)
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After Sam tells Patrick about Charlie’s crush on her, Patrick explains to Charlie how women are socialized... (full context)
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Charlie admits that he masturbates regularly now and intentionally never thinks of Sam while doing so. He feels guilty for masturbating and promises God that he’ll quit, but... (full context)
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...trying to teach him something with this book. He spends more time with Patrick and Sam, who invite him to a party after the homecoming dance. (full context)
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He tells this story to Sam and Patrick while watching Dave, now a senior, score the winning touchdown in the game.... (full context)
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After the homecoming dance, Charlie rides with Patrick and Sam in Sam’s pickup truck to a party, and as he sits between them listening to... (full context)
Part 2 
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...and the audience participates in the performance, as well. Patrick plays Frank ‘N Furter and Sam plays Janet. Sam starts dating an older guy named Craig who plays Rocky in the... (full context)
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Charlie asks his sister why Sam might feel better about herself because an older boy likes her, and his sister tells... (full context)
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...the entire time, but Charlie explains that he understands his mom’s anxiety. The next day, Sam and Patrick compliment Charlie’s new clothes, saying his mom has good taste, which he tells... (full context)
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At the party, Charlie meets Sam and Patrick’s parents, whom he likes a lot. He says they don’t make you feel... (full context)
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...presents everyone at the party with a carefully chosen gift, even though no one except Sam and Patrick got him a gift. The most special gift is a record with the... (full context)
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Sam and Patrick leave for Christmas, vacation and Charlie spends the day thinking about his memories... (full context)
Part 3
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...still experiencing some hallucinations, and he worries that they’ll never stop. He tells this to Sam and Patrick, and Sam gives him a cigarette to calm his nerves and help him... (full context)
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Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...he had the best time he’s ever had. He describes the scene where he and Sam (playing Janet) playfully touch each other, which was the best part, according to him. At... (full context)
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Sam gives Charlie some advice for dating Mary Elizabeth, but afterwards Charlie just thinks about how... (full context)
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Although Charlie is feeling annoyed in his relationship with Mary Elizabeth, Sam thinks they’re great as a couple. He spends more time listing to Mary Elizabeth talk... (full context)
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...on the lips,” and Charlie decides at that time to be honest, so he kisses Sam instead of Mary Elizabeth. This makes both Sam and Mary Elizabeth angry, and Sam says... (full context)
Part 4
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...Charlie get a month’s detention. In detention together, Brad thanks Charlie for stopping his friends. Sam is waiting for Charlie after he gets out of detention and tells him they can... (full context)
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...which colleges they will attend in the fall: Patrick is going to University of Washington, Sam is going to Penn State, Charlie’s sister is going to Sarah Lawrence, and Mary Elizabeth... (full context)
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...happy. His sister even allows him to hug her in the hall. After school, Charlie, Sam, and Patrick go to Big Boy and talk “about the things that seemed important at... (full context)
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After prom, Sam and Craig broke up. Charlie explains how nice everyone looked and how much fun they... (full context)
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After Craig tells Sam, she leaves crying. Peter and Craig start yelling at each other, and Patrick and Charlie... (full context)
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...gives her a hand-carved stone house to “make her feel like she’s at home” always. Sam calls Charlie during the party and invites him over, but he can’t leave until his... (full context)
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At the dance club, Charlie dances with Sam, and when a slow song comes on they hold each other a little closer, and... (full context)
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During a busy week of preparations and farewell lunches, Sam has lunch with Craig to get closure, and Charlie explains that she feels sad, but... (full context)
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As she packs, Sam turns to Charlie and asks why he didn’t ask her out after she broke up... (full context)
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Crying a little, Sam explains that she blamed Craig for holding her back, but she realizes now that she... (full context)
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...watching TV with his siblings and Aunt Helen, and Aunt Helen touches him the way Sam did. He wakes up to find Sam and Patrick standing over him looking worried. After... (full context)
Epilogue
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...the same in the hospital and cracks jokes to make him feel better. Patrick and Sam promise to drive Charlie through the tunnel once he’s released. Bill and his girlfriend visit... (full context)
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...hospital he goes to McDonald’s with his mom and they eat french fries together. Later, Sam and Patrick pick him up and drive Charlie through the tunnel. Patrick turns up the... (full context)