9 Maybe-Important Quotes of Fictional Characters

“[S]ometimes dogs or people hate you for no reason.” – Homer J. Simpson

Captured by this guy.

Captured by this guy.

In the episode of The Simpsons, “The Latest Gun in the West,” Homer gives Bart some rather sagely advice: at times, a person (or dog) will hate you with no logical explanation.

The implied point (assuming Homer can imply things), is that where someone’s dislike of you is entirely unreasonable, you should probably just get over it and move on. Or, as it is in Bart’s case, you can get a movie star to smooth things over for you.

Secret option #3 is to follow the wisdom of a masked vigilante known as V: “Violence can be used for good” (this doesn’t count as one of my nine quotes, because I said so).

I’d go with the movie star route myself.

“All that is gold does not glitter,/ Not all those who wander are lost, . . .” – Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo BagginsPenned by J.R.R. Tolkien in the real world, and stolen by Bilbo Baggins who pretends he wrote it in The Fellowship of the Ring. The first two lines of this poem are supposed to be in regards to Aragorn, son of Arathorn, who lives most of his life as a wandering ranger doing awesome things for the denizens of Middle Earth (so long as they’re not from some foreign land in the east and south which he seems to know nothing about).

Both these lines are oft-quoted, with people using the first to say something is more awesome than it first appears. The second line is overused by literature-reading backpackers who like to pretend their drinking, off-the-beaten-path travels to the middle of nowhere, and attempts at hostel promiscuity makes them as cool as Aragorn. I mean, they might be cool, but those three things alone aren’t going to cut it.

“Life without pain isn’t real . . .” – First Lieutenant Isamu Alva Dyson

Isamu Dyson Macross PlusAlright, I’m omitting the last word. It’s supposed to be “[l]ife without pain isn’t real life,” but that just doesn’t sound as good. I imagine it was translated that way primarily so the lip-syncing would match in the dubbed version of Macross Plus.

I heard this line in my early teens, and found it rather useful to plow over some problems in life. This one sentence told me not to be surprised when pain slaps you in the face. At the same time, it told me that pain doesn’t necessarily have to stop you from moving forward.

Just keep in mind that without disappointment, the good things in life wouldn’t be quite as sweet. Well, according to Jason Mraz’s logic in “Life is Wonderful,” anyway. But when is Mr. A to the Z ever wrong?

“What if she’s the one?” – Ross “The Divorce Force” Geller

Ross Geller TeethBy the time “The One with Ross’s Teeth” came along, Ross had already been divorced three times on Friends. His first wife discovered she was a lesbian, he said the wrong name at the ceremony when marrying his second wife, and he was one of “two vodka bottles walking around in human form” for his third wedding.

Still, Ross remains hopeful and doesn’t let go of the potential that this woman, whom he hasn’t even gone out with yet, might be “the one.”

Ted Mosby follows a similar creed on How I Met Your Mother. Of course, this doesn’t stop either Ross or Ted from sleeping with women they’ve already determined as unlikely to be the one (including students at the universities where they teach as professors—no, Ross, it’s not just frowned upon).

“I said you need to strive to be better than everyone else. I didn’t say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That’s what character is. It’s in the try.” – Coach Eric Taylor

Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor Friday Night LightsEric Taylor says a lot of awesome, inspirational stuff on Friday Night Lights. This quote is from “The Right Hand of the Father,” where he advises his quarterback, Vince Howard, on how to be a proper leader and role model for his team.

Sometimes, people will put a whole lot of pressure on you and expect you to be great. All you really need to do is give it your best shot. It took me many years of doing things halfheartedly before I learned this lesson.

“It’s in the try.”

Take that, Yoda, you overbearing green jerk.

“I understood that reference.” – Steve Rogers aka Captain America

Captain America Understood that Reference

Frozen for over sixty years and barely thawed out, Cap has a lot of catching up to do. For the first X minutes of The Avengers, all the jerks around him keep referencing things that happened while he was trapped in a block of ice in the Atlantic. When someone references The Wizard of Oz‘s flying monkeys, Rogers finally gets the reference and makes it known with classic Whedon-directed delivery.

Captain America + Whedon + Pop Culture References = Hooray Beer!

“It’s not the net result of one’s life that’s important! It’s the day-to-day concerns, the personal victories, and the celebration of life . . . and love!” – Terra Branford, Final Fantasy VI

Terra BranfordThe primary protagonist of Final Fantasy VI utters these words when the antagonist questions why people bother clinging to what he perceives as short and pointless lives.

The heroes of the story educate him on the purpose of life. Yeah, world-altering achievements are awesome, but they’re pointless if people are unable to enjoy the day-to-day parts of life: laughter, hugs, and all that stuff. Everyone is capable of joy and love, great or small, (though some may need a little help) and that’s why life matters.

I played this game as a kid and the sentiments in these words have stuck with me in all the years since.

“To die will be an awfully big adventure.” – Peter Pan

Peter and Wendy CoverI’m not entirely sure what J.M. Barrie wanted to convey when he wrote this. On the surface, the line clearly demonstrates Peter Pan’s lack of fear in the face of death. Thinking he’s going to die, he shudders but once and stands ready. However, as Peter is the embodiment of childhood and a major theme of the play/novel is about the inevitability of growing up, I suppose the line could concern the inevitability of death. And, yeah, it also seems to reference the supposed mystery of what happens after death.

Whatever it was intended to signify, it  strikes me as somber and powerful.

“I went to the stock market today. I did a business.” – Vincent Adultman

Vincent Adultman Did a Business

Courtesy of reddit.

Said by a character who is “very obviously three kids stacked on top of each other under a trench coat,” I found this line to be hilarious. That’s pretty much the only reason I put this here.

“I did a business.” Haha.

BoJack Horseman might not be for everyone, but if you’re a fan of Arrested Development (Will Arnett voices the title character, BoJack), Community (Allison Brie plays Bojack’s Vietnamese-American ghost writer), or Aaron Paul saying funny things without capping it off with the B-word (Paul lends his voice to a cartoon character who dresses a lot like Jesse Pinkman), you might want to give this Nexflix Original series a try. Yeah, sorry for sounding like an advertisement.

22 thoughts on “9 Maybe-Important Quotes of Fictional Characters

  1. Vigilante V. Referring to V for Vendetta? Loved that film. In the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Frodo say” I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.” and Gandalf says “So do all that live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil….” This quote touched me because it is about suffering, facing challenges and dark times and how we might get through them and keep faith that there is still good in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. nice list. i would only add one more. in Fahrenheit 451 guy montag says “We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Though I found the penchant for deus ex machina to be a remarkable problem in the writing of Terry Goodkind, there are myriad passages that are just absolutely fantastic in his Sword of Truth series and so much so it’s not possible for me to even pick out a handful of them.

    But perhaps my favourite comes from Naruto, both the manga and the anime,* during the Chuunin Exam battle between Naruto and Neji. Standing over a barely conscious and battered Neji, blood dripping from his fingertips, Naruto responds emphatically to Neji’s question of how he was able to defeat him, how he was able to push so hard. The simple response? Roughly, ‘because someone told me I was a failure’. That series and especially that line never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

    *Some anime, like Desert Punk, I watch dubbed and others, like Naruto, I watch subbed. When it comes to Naruto only a bare handful of voice actors managed to actually capture their characters and most, however good they are in other works, were just terrible. Naruto’s voice actress was especially problematic when compared against her Japanese counter-part. Watching Naruto subbed is vital to appreciating the series and does not, unlike with Dragonball Z and the ready example of Frieza, show a slightly different emphasis on the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It’s not so much neglect as it is that most of the town has wilfully turned their backs on him for something that is thoroughly beyond him, something he doesn’t even know.

        That always resonated with me because I dealt with severe child abuse and each time the town’s police were involved (at least once a year) they kept sending me home. The school officials I spoke with said they would act, too, and yet they never did. I can’t be sure that this was the case because I moved into that town at around age 6-7, because I was determined to be ‘other’, but when that gets lumped in with things like being pushed out of the cub scouts it’s hard to dismiss ready facts.


  4. Love this idea! I have more fictional character quotes to add if I may:

    1.) Kim Caswell from Drop Dead Diva: “You don’t get infinite opportunities to do the right thing. You need to fix this!”

    2.) Cristina Yang, Gray’s Anatomy: “Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He’s very dreamy, but he’s not the sun. You are.”

    3.) The Simpsons:

    Homer: You must hate me Marge. Every time I try to help, I just fail miserably.
    Marge: I don’t hate you for failing, I love you for trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. To die will be an awfully big adventure. That’s my favourite quote here as it’s the most thought provoking. Maybe a post on what the possible interpretations could be… Thanks for the inspiration :0)


  6. Pingback: 1st Anniversary Post: Top Posts and the State of the Novel | A.D. Martin

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