The only thing I like more than great movies is great movie quotes. Not only are they entertaining in and of themselves, but they tend to stick with us long after the credits roll. The best quotes contain such nuggets of wisdom, we want to recite them to our friends, coworkers, and even our pets. So I scoured my own memory for some of the quotes that have stuck out in my life. From TV shows and movies to even a few videogames, these quotes have stuck with me. I wholeheartedly recommend them to you, as well as the original sources of entertainment.
- “I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floatin around acidnetal-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happenin’ at the same time” – Forrest Gump
I love this quote because it speaks about whether or not we have any control over them. It ties in with a great Henry Ford quote: “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Do we strive to achieve what we want, or will it come ot us no matter what? How much can we influence? I think posing this lofty, difficult question in a movie about a simple minded guy is ingenious, because the answers we want might be as simple as Forrest. Maybe that’s why he finds so much success; he doesn’t spend any time thinking about whether or not he can control his destiny.
- “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us” – Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring
This is my mother’s favorite quote ever, because she is such a huge fan of the LOTR movies and Gandalf himself. The wisdom and grace to handle life, not to control it, to roll with the punches and adapt. We are defined by our reactions, and that is phenomenal wisdom.
- “Happy endings are just stories that haven’t finished yet” – Jane Smith, and Mrs. Smith
This movie was a fun spy/action flick, mostly because of the chemistry between Brad and Angelina. But more so, these were two assassins of the highest caliber, and of different approaches, and their clash was just as much about business as it was about optimism. While John seems to keep a more cheerful disposition, it’s his wife who takes a cynical view at happiness, saying that it’s only ever temporary. How long does happiness last? When do our stories end? Food for thought.
- “Do good.” “Mr. Feenie, don’t you mean, ‘Do well’?” “No, do good.” – Boy Meets World
While Boy Meets World sometimes failed to impress me with genuine humor, the show never failed to express the emotional journey of a boy becoming a man. And that journey just about concluded with this line, a final piece of wisdom from an old mentor. Focus more on the good in the world, and less on your own performance.
- “You must actively shape your own destiny… you must be decisive” – Avatar: The Last Airbender
I could write dozens of articles on why I think Avatar: The Last Airbender is the greatest cartoon ever made. But I would never be able to relate the brilliance behind every moment in the series. Find it online and watch it for yourself, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. The themes it tackles are no joke, and the ways they explore destiny, harmony, and friendship are truly remarkable. This quote is but a small gem from the show, and I implore you to absorb that whole series. Iroh and Zuko alone are some of the best characters ever in television.
- “When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change” – Avatar: The Legend of Korra
Avatar: The Last Airbender was so successful that they continued to build the world and the story in a sequel series, Avatar: The Legend of Korra. While the internet and twitter don’t seem to believe in the quality of the show compared to its predecessor, Korra really elevates the story-telling by further developing the unique and amazing setting. The deeper look into this world and its themes was truly rewarding, and I couldn’t recommend the show more highly. Watch The Last Airbender first, then trust me, you’ll be craving Korra immediately.
Also, the music for both of those series is what really sticks with me. It’s absolutely gorgeous through and through.
- “Trust is for fools. It shifts and crumbles like sand. A poor foundation for any partnership. But mutual self-interest; now that is a solid bedrock upon which [we] might build the new signs of understanding” – Sylens, Horizon Zero Dawn
If you haven’t heard about Horizon: Zero Dawn, I understand. As a Playstation exclusive video game, it certainly misses a few markets. But the game itself is simply outstanding, ambitious, and a blast to experience. Here’s the pitch: you fight robot-dinosaurs with a bow and arrow. If “robot-dinosaurs” doesn’t sell it for you, then maybe its lofty, ambitious storytelling will. This game is dowright fantastic, from its characters to its graphics to its memorable one-liners, and I couldn’t recommend another video game more. Besides maybe The Last of Us, which, now that I remember, did lack robot-dinosaurs.
- “You’re smart. When you know nothing matters, the universe is yours. And I’ve never met a universe that was into it. The universe is basically an animal that grazes on the ordinary, creates infinite idiots just to eat them… smart people get a chance to climb on top, take reality for a ride” – Rick, Rick and Morty
Who would I be as a lover of TV, movies, and philosophy if I didn’t mention a few quotes from Rick and Morty? For those of you that haven’t hopped on the Rick and Morty bandwagon, do so ASAP, because this cartoon has it all. It’s hilarious, razor-sharp, well-crafted, and it tackles heavy, interesting themes. It begs to ask: what happens when you are the smartest person in the whole universe? Rick Sanchez struggles with his mortality and his invulnerability in equal measure, and this struggle gets amplified when his daughter, Beth, faces a similar existential crisis, meriting this quote. Being smart might be helpful, but everyone seems bound to die no matter what. It’s one of many brilliant lines from this show.
- “Summer, Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. We’re all going to die. Come watch TV.” – Morty, Rick and Morty
The drunken genius might get a lot of the great one-liners on the show, but Morty continues to shine as the kind sidekick to his grandfather. This line, though, stands out in the show because it paraphrases a philosophy of optimistic nihilism. Morty faces his own mortality, literally by burying the corpse of himself from another reality, and it makes him that much more appreciative of the time he gets to live. Rather than stress about destiny or fate or the circumstances surrounding his birth, Morty decides instead to just enjoy life and find happiness wherever he can.
Seriously, go watch Rick and Morty. It’s amazing.
Go watch all kinds of movies and TV, and learn from it all. Entertainment is an amazing source of wisdom and contemplative thought. All the secrets to life are hidden in movies and shows out there. I’ll keep looking for them, and you should too. So get started with my suggestions, or don’t, but do get started!