In my opinion, the two best quotes from Peeta come from the first section of the novel when the author is still setting the scene and introducing the characters. Katniss is without doubt the strong and protective huntress, but Peeta displays a subtle, self-deprecating strength that makes the reader take him to heart.
The first quote takes place on the train when Haymitch is trying to assess what skills, if any, Katniss and Peeta have. Peeta down plays his physical strength and scornfully mocks his cake decorating ability saying, "Don't be so superior. You can never tell what you'll find in the arena. Say it's actually a gigantic cake ..." Peeta truly believes that he has no chance of winning and has no skills to promote him. Yer, ironically, it is those cake decorating skills that ultimately keep him alive.
The second quote that stands out to me takes place at the end of chapter 9 during Peeta's interview with Caesar Flickerman. Caesar asks probing questions about Peeta's life and whether he has a girl waiting at home. Peeta's response lays a foundation of love and loyalty that pervades the rest of the book, drawing the reader into the romance and providing a clear window into the conflict of emotions that Katniss feels at the novel's conclusion.
"Flickerman says, "So, here's what you do. You win, you go home. She can't turn you down then, eh?"
"I don't think it's going to work our. Winning ... won't help my case," says Peeta.
"Why ever not?" says Caesar, mystified.
Peeta blushes beet red and stammers out. "Because... because... she came here with me." "